Lightsworn: Patch 6.2 Holy Paladin preview
Yes, you read that right — Blizzard Watch now has a Holy Paladin columnist! I’m here to talk to you about everything from healing dungeons and raids, to choosing the right talents, to setting up your UI to maximize your performance.
I usually go by Rades in the World of Warcraft community, though these days I mainly play my Holy Paladin, Fabulor. I blog over at Orcish Army Knife about lore, transmog, satirical WoW news stories, and I’m also the writing half of the webcomic From Draenor With Love.
I’ve known some of the Blizzard Watch contributors for years, and consider many of them close friends and peers. I’m thrilled to be able to join them as part of the team here! As for me, I’m a raider, roleplayer, raid leader, Challenge Mode healer, lore fiend, PVP-er, transmog fanatic, pet battler, achievement point hunter, Brawler, and selfie-taker. If it’s in WoW, there’s a good chance I enjoy it.
My goal is to help my fellow Holy Paladins grow more comfortable with our class, and ideally, come to love Paladin healing as much as I do. I firmly believe there is always room for players to improve, and this includes me — I’m looking forward to learning from your questions and comments and becoming a better healer myself!
Without further ado, let’s take a look at what’s in store for patch 6.2 Holy Paladins. Remember, this is early PTR information, so everything could change completely before going live.
- Devotion Aura now reduces all damage taken, not just magical damage.
- Holy Shock‘s mana cost has increased by 50%.
Finally, Devotion Aura will be valuable in any situation, not just those with magical damage! It’s about time, too — there’s nothing quite as frustrating as realizing your only raid cooldown is completely useless because you’re not facing the right type of damage.
Granted, this doesn’t happen all that often, and sometimes Devotion Aura’s protection against silences and interrupts can end up being just as valuable as the mitigation would have been anyway. Thok the Bloodthirsty’s Deafening Screech in Siege of Orgrimmar comes immediately to mind.
However, PVE silence effects tend to be fairly rare, and even when you do encounter them, sometimes Devotion Aura doesn’t even work! For example, it does nothing at all against Franzok’s Disrupting Roar. Yes, I learned this the hard way. Yes, I’m still a little bitter about this.
Speaking of Franzok, there’s usually at least one encounter per tier where almost all the damage is physical, such as the Butcher in Highmaul, or Franz and his brother Hans’gar in Blackrock Foundry. While it’s true that there is some magic damage in the Hans and Franz fight (the Searing Plates deal fire damage), it would be much more useful if we could use Devotion Aura to prevent some of the physical damage from Stamping Presses, which are more difficult to avoid — and thankfully, in 6.2 we will be able to do just this.
Of course, like Uncle Ben said, with great power comes great responsibility. The new Devotion Aura is great, but only if you know when to use it! Yes, we’ll no longer have to worry about damage types, but we will need to figure out exactly when Devotion Aura will prevent the most damage, be it magical or physical, so we don’t waste one of our most powerful healing tools. (And if your raid leader prefers to manage your group’s cooldowns, make sure they are aware of this change as well!)
Well, it can’t all be good news.
At first glance, a 50% mana cost increase to our most important heal seems like a lot. And, well…it is. This change will make Holy Shock cost about as much as Holy Light. However, this shouldn’t really change much for us — Holy Shock will still be our primary heal, and we’ll still want to cast it on cooldown to maximize our Holy Power generation. If you need to conserve mana, don’t do it by casting fewer Holy Shocks — cut down on your Holy Light or Flash of Light casts on players who are not your Beacon of Light target, or cast Holy Radiance less. Holy Shock is too important to not be casting it every chance we get.
If you typically finish a fight with lots of mana to spare, you probably have nothing to worry about. But if you prefer ending up with almost nothing left in the mana tank, you may have to play more conservatively or get more Spirit once 6.2 goes live.
Blizzard is trying something new this patch by introducing class-specific trinkets! These will drop from the final boss of Hellfire Citadel on Normal, Heroic and Mythic difficulty, and have different abilities depending on your specialization. The ability for Holy Paladins is Magnifying Light, and although the tooltip numbers don’t match up right now, we can see that this trinket will give us a nice, steady bonus to our single-target healing as long as we’re regularly casting Holy Shock, which of course we should be doing.
One thing to keep in mind is that this trinket lacks any primary or secondary statistics. It’s entirely possible that one of the other 6.2 healing trinkets might be more effective in some situations, especially those with lots of raid damage — Magnifying Light doesn’t boost our AOE heals at all, and mana-intensive fights where we need to cast Holy Radiance frequently tend to also be the ones where a trinket with high Spirit or mana regeneration comes in really handy.
Tier 18 Holy Paladin bonuses
LFR Tier 18 Bonuses
- 2-piece: Spirit increased by 125.
- 4-piece: Your healing spells have a 10% chance to trigger Light from Above on three nearby injured allies.
The Hellfire Citadel LFR Tier set bonuses are functional and clean, and should be quality upgrades if you have non-tier pieces from Blackrock Foundry or Highmaul. Bonus Spirit is always helpful, and while the Light from Above tooltip seems to be incomplete right now, you won’t have to do anything special to benefit from it — just heal like normal and the effect will trigger on its own, splashing free, additional healing to where it’s needed most.
Normal/Heroic/Mythic Tier 18 Bonuses
- 2-piece: Increases the amount of healing transferred to your Beacon of Light targets by 25%.
- 4-piece: Increases the amount of healing transferred to your Beacon of Light targets by 5%.
Okay, clearly Blizzard is still working on the exact numbers here, as it would be silly for these bonuses to be so similar yet have the 2-piece bonus be clearly superior. However, if the theme of increased Beacon of Light healing remains the same, we can look forward to some effective (if slightly unexciting) bonuses in 6.2.
Beacon of Faith, already preferred by most Holy Paladins, will also become the clear level 100 talent choice for raid content, assuming these bonuses affect it (and they should, since effects like Empowered Beacon of Light and Glyph of Beacon of Light already do). It will be interesting to see if Blizzard does anything with Beacon of Insight or Saved by the Light to keep them from being completely overshadowed this tier.
Legendary healing ring
Khadgar’s rings have already undergone numerous and substantial changes on the PTR, so don’t be surprised if they see further revamping down the line. The current version of Etheralus, the Eternal Reward has an on-use effect that empowers your entire raid with increased healing and absorbs, and after the buff expires, everyone receives a shield based on the healing done during the empowerment. I’m drooling just imagining this buff on fights with prolonged periods of constant raid damage, such as the last phase of Iron Maidens.
The on-use effect does have a shared 2 minute cooldown, meaning healers won’t be able to chain the effect in rapid succession. Talk with your raid leader and fellow healers to determine the best time to use Etheralus, since once one person uses it, no other healers will be able to use theirs until the shared cooldown expires. It’s kind of like a miniature, healer-only Bloodlust/Time Warp/Heroism. (Healoism?)
Like any raid cooldown, the best time to use Etheralus will vary based on the encounter — on some fights you may want to use it as soon as it comes off cooldown, while on others it might be more beneficial to save the effect for upcoming periods of heavy damage. To avoid confusion, your raid might consider having a single healer responsible for managing Etheralus, so that only one person needs to track the cooldown, and so people aren’t triggering the effect at the wrong time.
Whew! That about does it for patch 6.2 news! Holy Paladins, I’d love to hear what you think, whether it’s about the patch changes, the current state of our spec, or anything else that’s on your mind! If you’ve got any questions or suggestions for future columns, let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!
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