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.

Divinity

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.

Stoicism

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.

Toughness

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!

Haste

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.

Conclusion

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 🙂


Good Intentions and Lessons Learned

June 15, 2010

As some of my fellow Holy paladins have noticed, I’ve become a bit more intrusive lately. It’s all with good intentions though! In this post, I’ll touch on things I come across often. It’s not like these are things that haven’t been written about before, but all the same, I do see a lot of the same mistakes happening. This post is meant for progressive raiding holy paladins. I don’t expect to put much useful information in here for newly dinged holy paladins.

First off, let me say that I’m aware that I’m not exactly the best Holy paladin there is. I know that there are still a lot of things that need to be fixed concerning my own armory profile. I’m working on it though. However, I do think that I know a fair bit about my class and spec, as I read a lot about it in order to perform the best I can. Granted, it helps having a healer wife who outheals me on almost every occasion. She really pushes me, but I like it 🙂

Holy Light vs. Flash of Light

No, this won’t be a discussion on which is better or anything like that. I used to focus on Flash of Light, but now I’ve turned to Holy Light as my primary heal. Frankly, I don’t care which you choose, really. As long as you call yourself a holy paladin, pick any style you want but for fuck’s sake, stick with it! I’ve seen far too many holy paladins with a Retribution subspec gemming full intellect.

Choose a healing style, either Holy Light of Flash of Light, and stick with it! This means getting the right gear, gems, talents and glyphs to support whatever you choose to focus on.

On the bottom of this post is a link to an awesome blogger with some really good in-depth information on all of these topics. If I’m not clear on something or not in-depth enough, please go there for more information. I’m convinced she can explain better than me.

Talents

So far, I have seen a lot of holy paladins with a Retribution subspec. Any spec along the lines of 51/0/20 or variation thereof would classify as this. This is a talent spec that is great for supporting a FoL focus. It can also be used if you’re a HL paladin who’s just starting out, but this is not the aim of this post. If you’re a raiding HL paladin, you should not run with more than 5 points in the Retribution tree. On the other hand, a raiding FoL paladin should not run with more than 5 points in the Protection tree. Remember what I said about focus? Pick one, stick with it.

Glyphs

As it is with talents, it is with glyphs. There are glyphs that are meant for HL paladins and there are glyphs for FoL paladins. I won’t go in-depth about the different glyphs here, as there is lots of information out there already. I will say, however, that whatever you choose to focus on, there are at least 2 major glyphs you need to have. The last major glyph is pretty much optional in terms of which one you pick.

For Holy Light focus, you will want the Glyph of Holy Light. This seems like a dead giveaway, but alas, I’ve seen a lot of HL paladins without it. In my opinion, that is taking failure to a whole new level. So do the right thing, pick this glyph up.

In contrary to what seems obvious, this glyph is also quite amazing for FoL paladins, as even they will have to cast Holy Light sometimes.

The other glyph you’ll need to properly focus on HL casting is Glyph of Seal of Wisdom. This will reduce the mana cost of all your spells by 5% while Seal of Wisdom is up. Of course, this means that Seal of Wisdom is a mandatory raid buff for you if you have this glyph.

Flash of Light focused paladins should at least pick up Glyph of Flash of Light and Glyph of Seal of Light. The FoL glyph increases the critical strike chance of FoL by 5% (did I mention that crit is good?) and the Seal of Light glyph, in contrary to the Seal of Wisdom glyph, increases the healing done by your spells by 5%. You’ll need every bit you can get as a FoL paladin.

Gems

Okay, this is pretty simple, but try to keep up. If you focus on FoL, gem for spellpower as if your life depends on it. Because it does. You’re going to need every bit of healing power you can get in order to make FoL as powerful as it can get. Spellpower is your most reliable stat for this. You don’t need the extra intellect, there is plenty on gear.

If you focus on HL, gem for intellect as if your life depends on it. Because not only your life, but that of the tanks and thus pretty much everyone else’s life also depends on it. You need the extra mana to keep casting Holy Light. There are just so many advantages to having loads of intellect that I don’t know where to start explaining. I’d suggest reading some more on either Kurn’s blog or a class forum like Elitist Jerks if you want to know more details about it.

Librams

Do you know this nifty little addon called GearScore? You do? Then please, right now, forget about it. Pretend it doesn’t exist. Most holy paladins I’ve seen run with the Libram of Blinding Light, the item level 264 libram from the Emblem of Frost vendor. This may seem like a good libram, but it is really mediocre. I’ve run with this myself for a while, until I was shown the error of my ways 🙂

For Holy Light focus, the best libram is really easy to get. It’s the Libram of Renewal that you can get for only 10 or 15 (my memory from last night and WoW databases seem to disagree) Emblems of Heroism. You can downgrade your Emblems of Triumph to Emblems of Heroism very easily, so this should be no problem to get for anyone. The amount of mana this libram saves you on an average fight is just insane. And Holy Light is by itself such a powerful spell, that you will not need any extra spellpower to boost its strength.

For FoL paladins, please pick up a PvP libram. I know this sounds very contradictory, as you’ll be using a PvP libram for PvE, but it’s really your best option. Any libram, starting from the Furious Gladiator’s Libram of Justice and up, will boost the spellpower of your primary healing spell (Flash of Light, remember?) with a significant amount. This is no laughing matter, really. Did I mention you want as much spellpower as you can get to boost Flash of Light?

Enchants

I’m really trying to keep this one short. The main difference between HL and FoL paladins are the headpiece and shoulder enchants. For Holy Light, pick the enchants with spellpower and Mp5. For Flash of Light, pick the enchants with spellpower and crit rating.

I’d like to conclude this post with something that should be a no-brainer. Whichever spell you choose to focus on, you can and should still cast the other one when appropriate! Just use your brains.

I’d like to thank Kurn for a lot of information she has given on her blog, as a whole lot of other bloggers I can’t all remember off the top of my head. Kurn has awesome Holy How-To’s I recommend reading if you’re not entirily sure about something or want to know more about the why’s and how’s.

Did this help you? Let me know! 🙂


Gear and guild updates

June 13, 2010

I’ve officially switched guilds now, I’m almost done re-gemming my gear and have a new chardev profile to share.

http://chardev.org/?profile=421166

That’s not even that far from what I have now! Check my armory profile to see where I stand at the moment.

I have some more stuff to say regarding the guild switch, as some unexpected things have come up. I won’t switch back to my previous guild though, that’s a matter of principle.

Also, I got Putricide down for the first time today! Yay!