Tips and Tricks to Improve Holy Paladin Healing Throughput
Mana battery , what? Days of paladin spamming our biggest heals all day long are gone. Actually, at the start of MoP those days were gone for all healers (except for those pesky mistweavers and their near 80k sustainable hps with mana leftover early on in MoP and discos now with their OMG MOAR RAPTURE – don’t worry I still love you discos <3)
Over the months, I’ve scoured logs of other holy paladins on World of Logs trying to find the key to the HPS puzzle in Mists of Pandaria.. Pandomina.. Pandaland.. no, Pandokemon. I’ve also switched from a 10 hc to 25 hc team, and low and behold things are never quite the same with all these different variables. In doing this, I’ve learned a few key points.
But first a few disclaimers! If your raid isn’t dropping dead due to lack of healing, then hps shouldn’t be a reason for your raid to wipe. If you and the other healers are comparable in throughput, yay! If your dps is standing in the fucking fire, you also can’t be expected to heal stupid. And… if you die on an encounter, your overall healing will be off on logs.
In the end, it’s not about numbers or throughput in all cases. Mostly, it’s about doing your job and keeping your assignment alive AND downing bosses. Hell on farm bosses, I many times will just take several talents out of convenience, knowing that my hps will drop. ok? OK! Do you still want to see how to evaluate your healing and improve?
This will be a 3 part series. First addressing some key learnings and basic tips, the next will focus on how to read your own World of Logs, and the third to dive into the details of your logs and give yourself a full evaluation. Let’s move on then.
I’ve learned that:
10 man raiding –> 2 vs 3 Healing on Logs. Don’t forget 2 healing produces significantly higher hps all around for both healers and the reverse is also true. I ran into several duo healing logs (including my own) and see holy paladins healing around 70k+ hps. But, when 3 healing the same fight the hps of all healers went down to 40k sustained.
Mistweaver Smarthealbots. Healing with a mistweaver especially at the start of MoP (i.e. smart heals that bounce to lowest hp targets) will lower the remaining healers hps. With a mistweaver in 10′s I generally have higher overheal and lower HPS overall and I’ve learned to switch up my talents and change up my playstyle and asignments depending on who I heal with in my team. This is particularly true for 10 mans, and not so much in 25′s. This is also true for raiding witha disc priest, basically any class that can snipe heals, smart heals, or mitigation is more efficient.
Spirit is Sexier Than Ever. – Get it. Got it? Good! You should aim for having spirit on every single piece of gear. Oh and if you are using that shitty egg of crap trinket from the headless horseman encounter.. .please go run either scholo hc or Sieg hc for the healing trinkets there. Both are leaps and bounds better for your class. Not running LFR for trinkets there? then you shouldnt’ be raiding. Still not lucky? Buy the Dark Moon Card Trinket, it’s still incredibly good. Moar spirits = moar healz!
How You Play, Yo! Playstyle makes a big difference – who woulda thunk? Healing bacon target or healing MT with bacon on OT changes the desirable stats. Of course healing your bacon target increases your holy power (for more free healz), but you no longer get the splash healing from bacon so you will see lower hps overall.Also, blanketing the raid with Eternal Flames is a great way to inflate your dps. Yeah some swear by it being a great playstyle, and I spec it also on some fights, though I really hate to see how high the overheal is on this spell. It feels so wasted with a raid group of shammies and mistweavers. One great thing about it though? 50% transfers through bacon to your tank so you can effectively keep your tank up in 25s by spamming Eternal Flame on the raid and Holy Shock the tank on cooldown.
25 man (+ woman) raiding - With 6 other healers and loads more people to heal, in 25′s you usually have more strict healing assignments. So a paladin keeping 2 tanks alive is likely going to spec sacred shield and bacon a tank, healing the other through bacon. Also, all of those AOE healers (shammies I’m talking to you) rule the ranks on many fights. With 15 more people standing in their puddles their effective healing is very high.
Tips & Tricks
But who am I kidding? What you really want to read are the tips and tricks part. Here are some tips and tricks to improving your HPS and overall healing in Mists of Pandara, Dear Holy Paladins:
- Use a Spirit Flask and Spirit food. Some raiders have just made the switch to an Int flask and food, but if you aren’t decked out in 11-12,000 spirit you’ll be glad you have the extra regen to burn through heals and holy radiance.
- On fights that I expect to be heavy or long, I still use Spirit food and Flask.
- I also like spirit for more spammage of Holy Radiance, to generate more holy power charges. Your mileage may vary and it’s many times fight specific.
- Some raiders have made a permanent switch to Int flasks and food, but I still switch back and forth. Not entirely comfortable yet with only Int and feel I can heal longer with Spirit still. Maybe when I replace my tier for my off set leggs (with spirit) it will skew me more to Int.
Tip 2 – Evaluate your Holy Shock Usage
- Setup a Power Aura or a Weak Aura to monitor your Holy Shock cooldown – and use Holy Shock on EVERY cd. Not only is this a big heal, it’s efficient and generates a charge of holy power. Keep this up and use your 3HoPos on Light of Dawn or Eternal Flame and you’ll be playing this class like Blizzard intended. Looking at logs, you should do a quick calculation to see how efficient you are with Holy Shock.
Length of fight (in seconds) / # holy shocks = how many seconds between casting HS
- Remember 6 seconds is the cooldown on Holy Shock or 5 cooldown on Holy Shock with 4pc t14. You want this to be approx. 80%. You can’t realistically expect it to be casted on EVERY cooldown due to other healing needs (Holy Radiance Spam.. aoe healing.. etc.) but the more closely you cast it on cooldown = 1) the more mana efficient healing you will do 2) the more holy power you will generate to 3) heal more with Eternal Flame or Light of Dawn. Don’t forget that it natively has a 25% crit chance (making it a yummy heal) and on each crit will proc Infusion of Light, so you can cast a super quick Holy Radiance or Divine Light/Holy Light.
Tip 3 – Maximize your mana regen
- Not only do you want loads of spirit, but if it’s a fight where you don’t need to take Clemency or Hand of Purity then spec into …. and use a Lay on Hands near 1/4 way into the fight, not as a healing cooldown but as a mana cooldown. If the fight lasts more than 7 minutes you will get a chance for a second Lay on Hands and sexy sexy mana.
- Don’t forget to use a mana pot mid fight. If you end a fight with more than 25% mana, you underhealed your potential (unless the fight is on farm and healing is super light) . If you are feeling even more frisky, use an Int pot pre-pull and stack up a nice Illuminated Healing bubble on your tanks, throw a 1 charge holy power Eternal Flame on each of them not to let the bubble drop for 30 seconds, then run in.
- Use your Divine Plea. I tend to use my divine plea either about 1 minute into the fight, straight after I’ve done a big burst of healing (think first set of bubbles on Vizier Zor’lok ), or when I’m at 75% mana — whichever comes first. I setup a big weak aura in my face to tell me when it’s off cooldown again, and I use it if I’m under 80% mana. On a typical 6 minute fight you should have used it twice.
- More mana = moar healz
Tip 4 – Active time.
- Never stop casting, but don’t heal just for the sake of healing something.
- During low damage you can still use Holy Light as filler, but if healing is light you are better off maximizing your mana and return with a Holy Shock> Holy Light or Holy Shock > 1 holy power charge Word of Glory > Holy Shock… Light of Dawn… etc
- In general, your active time on WoL should be 95%>
Tip 5 – Healing Cooldowns
Are you using your healing cooldowns appropriately? You have 3 possibly 4 healing cooldowns depending on what you have talented. Holy Avenger is a great cooldown to use when you have pre-determined times you need to “hit that shit”, Avenging Wrath, Illuminated Healing, Guardian of the Kings dude.
Know the fight inside and out to understand when you have a big aoe healing phase, or a tank’s getting nailed phase, and quickly learn where these spots sit in the fight so you can map out when to use what. Ensure you use a different cooldown, or a series of cooldowns if needed at the right times. The more you heal when the heals are needed, the higher your hps will skyrocket.
Tip 6 – Extra Bonus Credit! Eternal Flame Blanketing
Some fights lend themselves really well to a particular playstyle of blanking the raid with 3 HoPo Eternal Flames. A fight like Garlon HC is a great example of a fight with constant raid damage and that Eternal Flame hot will never overheal.
With this playstyle, you basically use Holy Shock on cooldown, Holy Radiance as a second Holy Power generator, then spend your holy power on 3 HoPo Eternal Flame keeping as many people as possible with the hot. This is efficient, and combined with the 4pc T14 OR the pvp 4pc set (until 5.2 when it’s nerfed), it’s extremely strong. Just make sure you are building – and spending – your holy power quickly and don’t over write your hots.
Edit: forgot to mention Daybreak! Here you go :)
Holy Radiance will also proc Daybreak which works like this:
- You cast Holy Radiance on a target.
- You get a guaranteed Daybreak proc, which lasts for 6 seconds. During which you have to cast a Holy Shock to receive the benefit.
- When you cast your Holy Shock, it is the healing of the Holy Shock that gets divided for Daybreak. For example, let’s say that you are targeting a player who has 4 other players within 10 yards of him/her. If your Holy Shock heals the target for 50k, your Daybreak will further heal the target for 10k and each of the 4 nearby targets for 10k (for a total of 50k). If your Holy Shock crits for 100k, the Daybreak will instead further heal the target for 20k and each of the 4 nearby targets for 20k. It’s important to remember that, though the Holy Shock can crit, the divided Daybreak procs do not crit (in other words, the divided Daybreak heals will always exactly add up to the amount of the Holy Shock that proc’d it).
Daybreak is an important part of the Holy Radiance + Holy Shock spam with Eternal Flame blanketing tactic and must not be overlooked. It’s super efficient mana-wise and healing adds up, so don’t forget that Holy Shock after your Holy Radiance, or better yet, setup a Power Aura to warn you that you haven’t casted it yet.
Do you have any other tips for improving hps?
Stay tuned for part 2 where I’ll show you how to make a first pass at your World of Logs parse and spell usage.
P.S.In other news, I passed my raid trial with Obscure! <3 my new guildies…. seeeeeee below :)