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Lightsworn: Holy Paladin changes, Legendary item updates in Patch 7.1.5

Patch 7.1.5 is on the PTR now, let the datamining commence! Actually, there’s not much new for Holy Paladins. We’ve been in a pretty good place in Legion so far, and it seems that Blizzard is content with where we’re at. That being said, there are still a few minor changes to be aware of, including changes to our Legendary items, plus a few new ones. Let’s take a look.

As always, note that the following information is based off datamined PTR information, and could change before Patch 7.1.5 goes live.

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Building a better beacon

Our Beacon spells are receiving some nice quality-of-life updates in Patch 7.1.5. Beacon of Virtue is getting a double shot of improved mana efficiency. Its mana cost is going from 15% of base mana to 10%, and casting Flash of Light and Holy Light on a Beacon of Virtue target will now refund 30% of the mana cost, much like how our baseline Beacon of Light works.

Beacon of Virtue has been a powerful healing option all through Legion so far, especially in dungeon groups. It’s virtually a mandatory talent in higher-rank Mythic+ runs. But it’s also always been very mana-intensive. These buffs are a strong boost to our dungeon efficiency/longevity, and we’ll also be able to more easily use Beacon of Virtue in raids, since mana issues won’t be as much of a concern. I don’t think Beacon of Virtue will become a stronger general raiding pick than Beacon of Faith or Beacon of the Lightbringer, mind you. But it’s a great tool in the right situations, so we’d be foolish not to keep it in mind.

Speaking of our other Beacons, Beacon of Light and Beacon of Faith are losing their 3-second cooldowns in Patch 7.1.5. Back when we could glyph Beacon of Light to be off the global cooldown, I used to actively hot-swap my Beacons around quite often, but I don’t really do this much anymore. Generally, I found losing the GCD — two GCDs, if you needed to swap Beacon back to a tank shortly after — just wasn’t worth it. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with removing these 3-second cooldowns, it’s just not a change I think we’ll really notice much.

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All specs getting Judgment of Light

Retribution Paladins are gaining access to Judgment of Light in Patch 7.1.5, a talent formerly available to only Holy and Protection Paladins. Normally we wouldn’t care about changes to other specializations, but since Judgment of Light effects from different players do not stack, it’s a huge waste to have more than one Paladin in your raid using this talent. Make sure you talk with your other Paladins and coordinate so that you’re not overwriting each other. From what I hear, it’s a mediocre talent for Retribution anyway, so hopefully this won’t be much of an issue.

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Holy Paladin Legendary changes

Many Legendary items are being updated in Patch 7.1.5, with “weaker” Legendaries such as Sephuz’s Secret and Chain of Thrayn receiving substantial buffs or even complete reworkings to make them more appealing. Holy Paladins will also be able to obtain two new Legendary items — one for Holy Paladins specifically, and one available to all healers.

There are six Legendary items currently available to Holy Paladins that are receiving changes. For simple comparison purposes, I’m including links to the current, live versions of these items, followed by links to the new Patch 7.1.5 versions.

  • Aggramar’s Stride (Old) / Aggramar’s Stride (New): These boots now look at our Haste or Critical Strike to determine the movement speed buff, a perfect change for Holy Paladins. I suspect most players would probably prefer a Legendary that provides healing throughput, but this is a significant passive movement speed increase, especially when you consider how much Crit we have these days.
  • Chain of Thrayn (Old) / Chain of Thrayn (New): Now this is a beefy change. An extra 35% healing (and 25% damage) during Avenging Wrath, which is already an exceptionally strong cooldown? Holy Paladins with Chain of Thrayn and Sanctified Wrath — a mandatory talent pick if you have this Legendary — are going to be unstoppable when they pop their wings. Previously, Chain of Thrayn was rather underwhelming, but it’s outstanding with these updates.
  • Justice Gaze (Old), Justice Gaze (New): Our Legendary helm option will let us chip in some extra easy damage on bosses and help kill adds faster, but let’s be real here. Even with the damage buff it’s received on the PTR, this remains one of our weakest raiding Legendaries due to its poor Holy Paladin stats and the fact that it only works on targets above 75% health. It’s slightly more valuable for questing and dungeons, of course, since you’ll have more opportunities to use it.

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  • Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus (Old) / Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus (New): Nothing too complicated here, just a straight-up buff for twice the effectiveness and guaranteed procs. Nice. Free shielding is nothing to scoff at, and Prydaz’s is extra useful to Holy Paladins since we can make sure the shield never goes to waste by using it to fuel Light of the Martyr casts.
  • Sephuz’s Secret (Old) / Sephuz’s Secret (New): Oh, Sephuz’s. Perhaps the most universally-loathed item in the game’s entire existence? Granted, it’s better for us in Patch 7.1.5 — and by “better” I mean it’s no longer just a stat stick — now that dispelling will activate its proc effect. It does also have a juicy amount of Critical Strike and a socket. Overall, the new Sephuz’s is far stronger than it was before, but it’s still a clunky effect that’s only useful about half the time (6 of the 10 raid bosses currently available have dispellable mechanics). The speed boost will be nice in Mythic+ dungeons, though.
  • Uther’s Guard (Old) / Uther’s Guard (New): Chain of Thrayn’s old effect has been recycled into Uther’s Guard, creating a “Super Blessing” Legendary — 50% increased duration plus a free heal on all of our various Blessing spells is nothing to sneeze at. Great stats, too.

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Both of the two new Legendaries Holy Paladins will be able to acquire in Patch 7.1.5 have excellent stats for us, and both are named after Draenei. Alliance bias!

  • Maraad’s Dying Breath: Wow, too soon, Blizz, even if thematically appropriate. Some interesting interaction between three of our different heals, here. I like the idea of effective AOE healing resulting in a buff to our single target heals, but I’m a bit wary about Light of the Martyr casts that are too strong. It might be interesting to Beacon yourself before the big Light of the Martyr, though, since the Beacon heal will mostly negate the Martyr damage. Alternately, a huge Light of the Martyr that works with Beacon could be quite strong when paired with Beacon of Virtue.
  • Velen’s Future Sight: A fantastic trinket. Great stats, a powerful healing increase on a very short cooldown, and turning overhealing into useful healing? Just amazing, especially since Legion’s healing trinkets have been decidedly lackluster.

Our “Bonus Legendary” Cloak

While we’re talking about Legendary items, we should spend a few moments talking about the Drape of Shame, which drops off Maiden of Virtue in the new Karazhan. This cloak is ridiculously powerful for Holy Paladins and we should do everything in our power to get it. It’s essentially the equivalent of a bonus Legendary item that we can farm as a group, spend bonus rolls on, and doesn’t count against our Legendary item limit. Even at item level 855 it far outshines any other cloak currently available. I suspect it will still outperform Maraad’s Dying Breath after Patch 7.1.5 goes live, though we’ll have to wait on the math/logs to see.

Maiden of Virtue is the second boss in Karazhan, so she’s relatively quick and easy to get to. Even better, the Drape of Shame also drops for DPS classes/specs, meaning your groupmates can pass you the cloak if they win it! (I actually got mine from a very nice Rogue after he realized it was far better for me than him.) If you can rustle up a few friends or guildmates who are willing to help out, you’ve got quite a few chances per week to get your hands on this beautiful cloak, so get in there and get farming!

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All in all, Holy Paladins are in a comfortable place and aren’t changing much in Patch 7.1.5. We were the top healing spec overall in Emerald Nightmare, and although we’ve dropped slightly to #2 in Trial of Valor, we’re right up there and have nothing to worry about. We’re doing great in dungeons, Mythic+ runs, and raid content, and the patch is bringing us nothing but buffs and positive changes to our Legendaries. So sit back and enjoy!

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