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.
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.