Good Intentions and Lessons Learned

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.


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.


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.


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.


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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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?


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! ๐Ÿ™‚


7 Responses to Good Intentions and Lessons Learned

  1. Ophelie says:

    I’m going to have to butt in and point out a few things I disagree with ;).

    In order for an FoL build to be viable, you need to be at the top level gear for the content you’re running. So if you’re running 5 mans or Naxx (ie content you overgear) it really doesn’t matter, but if a FoL paladin has less spellpower than the HL paladins in their raid, they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

    Also, Holy/Ret and Holy/Prot have nothing to do with HL or FoL. Both have advantages for either healing types. I usually recommend Holy/Ret for new paladins who aren’t geared yet since they’re the ones who’ll benefit the most from the extra 4-8% crit. And there are situations where a FoL paladin would need the DS/DG cooldown from the Prot tree.

    Can’t argue about the rest though ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kaboomski says:

      While I agree with you that both builds have advantages for both types of holy paladins, I would argue that HL paladins really don’t need the extra crit from a Holy/Ret build. I’m talking about raiding holy paladins here, they should have a basic gear level already. For them, the Holy/Ret build should not be considered “good” anymore. I’ve seen HL paladins at 10/12 with a Holy/Ret build. Far better gear than myself, but still running with a Holy/Ret build seems to me like you’re absolutely “shooting yourself in the foot”.

      I do agree that even FoL paladins could run with a Holy/Prot build, especially if they’re the only holy paladin in the raid. The extra cooldowns are very nice to have. The problem here is the crit though. For a FoL paladin, this needs to be as high as it can get.

  2. Ophelie says:

    At a progressive raiding level, no, you don’t want a HL paladin with Holy/Ret. But you didn’t specify progressive raiding. You said: “No HL paladin should ever, ever run with more than 5 points in the Retribution tree.” And while it’s true for many cases, it’s not always true.

    As for a FoL paladin, the tradeoff of 4-8% crit versus a CD is debatable based on circumstance. Your statement of “On the other hand, a FoL paladin should never run with more than 5 points in the Protection tree” isn’t right, since there are plenty of occasions where a FoL paladin would have to go down the prot tree.

    The two spec types aren’t associated with HL and FoL. Spec choices are personal, based on the type of content you do and what is most efficient for your team.

    • Kaboomski says:

      You’re right. My bad for choosing the wrong words. I’ll edit the post to reflect what I mean. Thanks a lot for pointing it out, I’m still learning ๐Ÿ™‚

      Update: I’ve edited the post. At the top of the post I try to make clear that it’s about progressive raiding paladins. I also edited the part about talents. Is it better like this?

  3. Codi says:

    Actually, no raiding FoL paladin should be going Holy/Ret, either. Even without focusing on it, a paladin can get 40% holy crit (45% with the glyph) without even trying.

    Plus, any FoL without the improved SS talent from Prot is really, really, -really- shooting themselves in the foot. LOL 4T9 + Holy/Prot is where the FoL spec movement came from!

    • Kaboomski says:

      I think we’ll have to agree to disagree here. It might be worth mentioning that you always have both options, but it really depends on how much crit you have from your gear. I agree that Holy/Prot can be a very good option even for FoL paladins though. I might have to edit that in.

      By the way, I was under the impression that the FoL spec “movement” originated back in TBC? I didn’t play during TBC though, so I have no clue. I never even played a paladin before WotLK ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Codi says:

        It wasn’t really a movement back then. Until T6, every healadin used FoL. There wasn’t even a choice. Once you started getting haste gear at T6 and started into Sunwell, then you switched to HL. There wasn’t any choice at all involved. LOL

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