From the dungeons that I’ve been doing on the beta I’ve gotten a pretty good feel for how Paladins are going to play out in MoP. There have been a few changes to the basic spells that a Holy Paladin uses to heal, so I will start off delving into my thoughts on the class by talking about the healing spells that we will be using.
(I’ll be excluding any spells that require being talented into for when I share my thoughts on talents.)
Here’s a list of all the spells before I talk about my thoughts on how they seem to be working so far.
Seal of Insight: Improves healing by 5% and allows melee hits to replenish health and mana.
Holy Light: Cheap Heal.
Flash of Light: Quick expensive heal. Generates 1 Holy Power if used on Beacon
Divine Light: Big Heal. Generates 1 Holy Power if used on Beacon.
Holy Shock: Strong single target heal. 6 second cooldown. Generates 1 Holy Power
Word of Glory: Holy Power consuming single target heal. 1.5 second cooldown.
Holy Radiance: Heals target for modest amount and spreads 50% of that heal to nearby allies. Generates 1 Holy Power
Light of Dawn: Holy Power consuming AoE heal. Heals 6 lowest health allies withing 30 yards.
Beacon of Light: Allows our spells to heal two targets at once. Can generate Holy Power through use of Flash of Light and Divine Light.
Divine Plea: Restores 12% of total mana over 9 seconds while reducing healing by 50%.
Avenging Wrath: Increases healing by 20%.
Devotion Aura: Grants immunity to silence effects and reduces spell damage taken by 20% for 6 seconds.
Hand of Sacrifice: Transfers 30% of the damage taken by the target to the paladin for 12 seconds.
Guardian of Ancient Kings: Heals target of single target heals and nearby allies for 10% of original heal while increasing Haste by 10% for each heal. 5 charges.
Single Target Healing
Holy Light: This spell is still the same small cheap heal that it currently is. It’s the best spell to spam for minor damage.
Flash of Light: Our quick expensive heal. It heals for quite a bit and when paired with Glyph of Flash of Light it will increase the amount of the next heal by 10%.
Divine Light: Our big heal.
Holy Shock: Our Primary method for building Holy Power and a strong heal. It does about the same amount of healing as Flash of Light with the mana cost of Holy Light. It has kept it’s six second cooldown, but now has a bonus AoE component if we have Daybreak up when we cast it. With Glyph of Illumination this spell can also return 1% of our base mana at the cost of reducing Holy Insight returns.
Word of Glory: Our primary Holy Power consumption heal. It now has a 1.5 second cooldown, which I assume is meant to keep us from using two in quick succession now that we can have up to 5 Holy Power at once.
Our single target healing is just as strong as it has always been. When the only damage going out is tank damage, I have found it very easy to heal through it. Storing two extra Holy Power also has a lot of use in our ability to quickly burst heal someone up while moving. Burst single target damage is also very easy to deal with when using the Glyph of Flash of Light. Hitting someone with a Flash of Light to give them a quick heal and then following it with a boosted Divine Light has been working wonders for me.
Multi Target Healing
Beacon of Light: This spell has had its duration removed, but it now has a three second cooldown. It now also has the added benefit of healing the Beacon for 15% of the amount healed by Holy Radiance. The Glyph of Beacon of Light can even remove the global cooldown that the spell causes.
Holy Radiance: Still our main source of AoE healing, but it has been reworked to exclude it’s HoT. All of the healing is upfront now so the spell is better for burst AoE situations than prolonged damage periods. It has also gained the ability to make Holy Shock an AoE spell via Daybreak.
Light of Dawn: This spell is still our AoE Holy Power consumption spell, but it has now been changed to heal the 6 most injured allies within 30 yards instead of in front of us.
The changes to all three of these spells have made healing damage on multiple targets so much easier as a paladin. If everyone is grouped up, tossing a Holy Radiance allows the use of Holy Shock as an AoE spell and sets up a very nice dynamic between the two spells. The changes to Beacon have also made it so that, in five mans at least, while AoE healing I don’t fear that the tank’s health is going to slip too low to be able to keep them up. Removing LoD’s facing requirement also made a very nice change to our AoE healing. I’m not really afraid of missing someone with LoD and simply cast it when the whole group needs a heal. It seems to me that Blizzard is doing a great job in moving paladin’s away from being the single target power houses and giving us some much needed AoE healing capabilities. These changes have made it so that we can AoE heal and not have it be just spamming Holy Radiance.
Divine Plea: This is still our mana regen spell that grants us 12% of our total mana while reducing our healing. With Glyph of Divine Plea, the 9 second healing reduction is removed and replaced with a 5 second cast time. The old Glyph of Divine Plea is not in the beta, so it seems that we will only get 12% from this spell.
Avenging Wrath: Still works in the same manner as it does currently. Nice throughput cooldown.
Devotion Aura: Has taken the place of the old Aura Mastery as a raid cooldown and now simply reduces spell damage taken by 20% for six seconds. Main downside is that it has a three minute cooldown up from the two that Aura Mastery had, but it is now also available from all specs.
Hand of Sacrifice: Still works the same way as it does currently. A strong cooldown for tanks.
Guardian of Ancient Kings: Now heals everyone, including the original target of your heal, for 10% of the amount of your heal. It also increases your Haste by 10% every time the effect heals a friendly player.
The first thing I noticed with cooldowns was the loss of Divine Favor. That was a very strong cooldown that I’m sad to see go, but we seem to be doing fine without it so far.
Our other throughput cooldowns, Avenging Wrath and Guardian of Ancient Kings, are still in game. Avenging Wrath has remained exactly the same, but Guardian has received some changes to its design. Everyone affected by the heal, including the original target, will receive an extra 10% of the amount healed. The spell now also increases Haste by 10% for 7 seconds for every heal used. The Haste bonus has the ability to stack up to 50%. These changes make it so that we have added choice in where the throughput provided by the Guardian goes. We are free to do what we want with that haste, whether it be more single target healing or AoE healing through Holy Radiance. I am a big fan of having choice in healing and think that this bonus will work out better than having the extra healing from Guardian boosted.
As far as our damage mitigation cooldowns go, they have stayed basically the same. Hand of Sacrifice still works exactly the same as it does currently and Aura Mastery has been changed to Devotion Aura. This new spell is available to all specs of paladin and comes with 20% magic damage reduction on a three minute cooldown. I think that the straight damage reduction is going to be a lot stronger than simply increasing resistances. This spell also has the added benefit of being available to all three specs of paladin which should be a nice plus to any ten man groups who may have struggled with availability of cooldowns in the past.
Now for our mana regeneratio cooldown. Divine Plea without glyphs works exactly as it does currently. It provides 12% over 9 seconds with a healing reduction. If glyphed that healing reduction is replaced by a cast time of 5 seconds. To me this change doesn’t seem to have really made a huge amount of difference. You are only affected for half the time of the debuff, but you are completely unable to cast any heals. The cast time also bring in the possibility of having the cast interrupted if used intelligently. It may be better to take the cast time in some situations where you have a very short window to regen and wont be able to deal with the debuff, but so far it seems to me that they come out about the same in levels of utility.
As a whole I think our abilities cover everything we need. We have very strong single and multi target healing that in my experiences on the Beta have been more than enough to deal with the outgoing damage. Our cooldowns are also very strong and we have what we need to cover any healing situation that we encounter. I think that Mists is working out to be very good for Holy Paladins and I am enjoying trying out all the changes on Beta.