Holy/Prot explained

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.

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