Paladin > WoWJan 19, 2016 7:00 pm CT

Lightsworn: Holy Paladin abilities being removed in Legion

We’ve spent a lot of time these last few months discussing all the shiny new spells, talents, and artifact traits Holy Paladins will be receiving in Legion, but as is always the case, in with the new, out with the old! Some of the Holy Paladin abilities we’re losing will be deeply missed, while others, we probably won’t even notice that they’re gone. There’s over a dozen spells that are getting the axe, so let’s take a look at what didn’t make the Legion cut.

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Movement Speed Abilities

In what seems like a ridiculous oversight, we’re losing our entire movement speed talent tier (Speed of Light, Long Arm of the Law, and Pursuit of Justice), but are not receiving any new speed abilities in their place.

I’m legitimately baffled at this. Every other healing spec will have at least two sprint or movement speed options, and yet Holy Paladins, already the least mobile healing class in the game, are getting…nothing? Sure, we’ll have Beacon of Hope, but even if a teleport could adequately replace a sprint (which it can’t), to take Beacon of Hope we’d have to pass up the incredible Unbreakable Spirit. Either way, we lose. I guess we can look forward to an expansion of being blown off ledges, standing in fire longer than anyone else, and being more prone to dying to mechanics than the rest of our healing peers. But hey, at least we’ll be in melee range some or all of the time, where there’s never anything dangerous to avoid or move out of quickly.

Rebuke

Losing Rebuke is a little easier to understand. Blizzard is removing most healer interrupts, so they clearly want interrupting to be the responsibility of tanks and DPS. While I understand their logic, it makes me sad that I’ll no longer have the satisfaction of being able to chip in and contribute in a extra, non-healing fashion. Hellfire Citadel has been great for this — I regularly use Rebuke on Hellfire Assault, Iskar, Socrethar, Velhari, Xhul’horac, Mannoroth, and even Archimonde. I know some healers never touch their interrupt button, but I’ve never understood this — if you can stop an enemy from ever casting that fireball or stun in the first place, why wouldn’t you? It’s basically proactive healing.

Reckoning and Righteous Fury

I suppose it’s only fair to make these tanking abilities exclusive to our Protection brethren, though having a taunt sure has proven useful occasionally, such as on fights like Archimonde where you need to carefully control the positions of certain enemies. And as for Righteous Fury, ask any Holy Paladin who did Heroic/Mythic Immerseus back in Mists of Pandaria — when it comes to effortlessly drawing in a large number of enemies to a single location, there’s nothing as effective as a Holy Paladin with Righteous Fury on.

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Hammer of Wrath

There’s definitely sentimental value in Hammer of Wrath, but most Holy Paladins don’t bother ever using it, and even those who do rarely get more than a few uses per encounter. It’s iconic, but not our role, and hardly essential. Sad for Shockadins, though.

Word of Glory

Without Holy Power, Word of Glory is just another Holy Light or Flash of Light. And let’s be honest, Word of Glory has been totally underwhelming for a long time now. We won’t even notice it’s gone.

Holy Radiance

Holy Radiance is a bad, bad spell and it’s far past time it was removed. It’s ludicrously expensive (35.64% of base mana), has a long cast time, heals for a weak amount, and has a very small effect radius. Now to be fair, it’s not entirely useless — it does generate a charge of Holy Power, and on encounters where you have many people stacked up, the resulting AOE heal from Daybreak can be nice. Not nice enough to warrant keeping it around, though.

Holy Radiance’s removal does leave a small gap in our toolkit — we’ll have no baseline ability to AOE heal a faraway group of players, since our only default AOE heal, Light of Dawn, emanates out from our position. Granted, taking talents such as Light’s Hammer or Holy Prism will solve this, but otherwise we’ll have to rely on our healing partners to handle this.

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Selfless Healer

I think Selfless Healer spent most of its tenure as a very under appreciated talent, overshadowed by its competition, Eternal Flame and Sacred Shield. But Selfless Healer sure was great back on Thok in Siege of Orgrimmar, giving you instant-cast, free Holy Radiances while Thok constantly interrupted the raid. It was also my default choice in PVP, for crucial burst healing, and where it had great synergy with Long Arm of the Law and Glyph of Burden of Guilt. And of course, the current combination of Selfless Healer, Libram of Vindication, and Infusion of Light is amazingly fun and effective. Selfless Healer was a bit niche, but I’ll be sad to see it go.

Eternal Flame

Blizzard has said they don’t want Holy Paladins being heal-over-time-based healers anymore, so while Eternal Flame has served us well over the last few expansions, it’s time to say goodbye. It wasn’t hard to see this coming, with the adjustments and nerfs Eternal Flame underwent as we headed into Warlords. Personally, I haven’t used Eternal Flame since getting my Libram of Vindication and switching to the Selfless Healer build mentioned above, and I haven’t missed it at all.

Sacred Shield and Illuminated Healing

Blizzard is also cracking down on absorbs in Legion, which means the end for Sacred Shield and our previous Mastery, Illuminated Healing. Although this might seem like a significant loss, don’t worry — Blizzard will be watching our healing very carefully, and will no doubt tune our spells to adequately make up for our absent absorbs and shields. (Also, I’m incredibly glad we’ll no longer have to be spamming heals on the tanks before pulls, to ensure they start combat with full Mastery shields.)

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Holy Avenger

Holy Avenger took a big hit when Blizzard gave Eternal Flame and Light of Dawn cast times. In Mists we could rapidly generate a ton of Holy Power with Holy Avenger, then blanket the raid in Eternal Flames or repeated Light of Dawn casts. In Warlords, casting Eternal Flame or Light of Dawn even a few times wastes a good portion of Holy Avenger’s duration. In any case, the removal of Holy Power would’ve meant completely reworking Holy Avenger anyway, so even if Blizzard had kept it, it would’ve felt like an entirely different spell.

Turn Evil

All right, who actually remembered that Turn Evil exists? If ever there was a spell suitable for pruning, it’s this. That being said, I’m absolutely tossing this on my bars to use in Hellfire Citadel while I still can, just for kicks.

Hand of Purity

I’ve always felt that Hand of Purity isn’t actually all that bad a spell. A short 30-second cooldown, 15% reduced damage taken, and near-immunity to damage-over-time effects for 6 seconds? That’s not terrible! However, sharing a tier with Unbreakable Spirit and Clemency all but ensured Hand of Purity would never be more than an oddball choice. A shame, really.

Clemency

We’re losing Clemency’s double Hand charges, but we’re gaining Blessings of the Silver Hand‘s reduced cooldowns instead. Not exactly the same, but it still means more frequent uses of our Hand/Blessing spells in the end, so I suppose we can consider this one a draw.

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Execution Sentence

I always wrote off Execution Sentence as something meant more for Retribution, since Holy Prism was such a useful spell for Holy. However, recently I’ve come to rely rather heavily on Execution Sentence in PVP and in Mythic/Challenge Mode dungeons. Execution Sentence’s healing is huge, almost like a mini Lay on Hands, and I’ll really miss its ability to yank someone back from the brink of death in a single global cooldown.

Beacon of Insight

Beacon of Insight was clearly intended to function like Prayer of Mending, but it’s had nothing but problems since its implementation. First, it didn’t bounce properly, or it bounced to players who didn’t need it. Then it wasn’t providing enough additional healing. And so on. Ultimately, though, its fatal flaw came from one simple fact — it was on the same tier as Beacon of Faith. All expansion, if you had two tanks to heal, you took Beacon of Faith. Period.

Saved by the Light

My go-to choice for PVP and Challenge Modes (and sometimes Mythic dungeons), this talent has saved my bacon more than I’d like to admit. Divine Intervention (which is not the same as the old self-sacrificial ability of the same name!) seems like it’ll be a decent replacement, though.

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I desperately hope Blizzard ends up giving us some sort of movement ability (the new Retribution-only Divine Steed would be perfect), but I think I can live with the other abilities being removed. How about you? Any favorites that won’t be coming back next expansion? Any spells that we’re retaining that you wish were being removed?

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