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Quick update

September 13th, 2013 | Posted by Getsu in Mists of Pandaria | Paladin | World of Warcraft - (0 Comments)

Updates for 5.4

I went through and updated everything for 5.4. The Holy Paladin Guide should be updated both here and over at MMO champion now. I went through and updated all the information with a primary focus on trying to clear up the changes to the level 45 talents and how secondary stats work now. Its a little complicated since all of the changes leave a lot of room for interpretation and many top players are doing things differently, but I made an effort to try to explain all the options. Gemming and secondary stats mostly are a little complicated at the moment, but I did my best to explain what top players are doing and why. As far as I can tell I covered everything and cleaned up the big mistakes, but I’d appreciate having any mistakes pointed out to me!

Moving forward with 5.4

I’m hoping to write some healing guides for the normal modes like the ones I did back in T14. I will work on those after going through raid next week so I have a bit more experience on the fights and a better idea of what works. After those I will be working on producing more in detail guides for each individual boss as Static progresses through them. I’ll be hoping to get those out on the weekends after the raid week, so expect posts from me on Fridays/Saturdays.

Those are really the only updates I have for now. Check out the guides, let me know what you think, and good luck in T16 everyone!

This is much later than I was hoping, but I finally finished this up. I’m sorry for it’s tardiness, but I didn’t want to write this before changes were finalized. I also have been busy moving back to school, but enough with the excuses.

To start off with here are all the changes that apply to Holy:

  • Mastery: Illuminated Healing no longer activates from periodic healing effects.
  • Seal of Insight no longer has a chance to restore mana on attacks.
  • Divine Plea no longer reduces the amount of healing done, and now restores mana based on the Paladin’s Spirit.
  • Sanctity of Battle now also affects the cooldown of Holy Shock.
  • Holy Shock mana cost has been reduced by 50%.
  • Judgment now costs 12% of base mana to cast (up from 5% of base mana).
  • Holy Insight now increases the effectiveness of Eternal Flame, Light of Dawn, and Word of Glory by 50% (up from 35%). Effectiveness of other heals are still increased by 25%.
  • Guardian of the Ancient Kings now deals additional healing based on any heal cast by the Paladin for the 15 seconds for the duration of the spell. The Paladin also has 10% additional haste for the duration that the ability is active.
  • Selfless Healer in addition to its current effects, now also causes Judgment to generate a charge of Holy Power. Stacks of Selfless Healer now reduce the cast time, mana cost, and improve the effectiveness of Divine Light, Flash of Light, and Holy Radiance.
  • Eternal Flame’s periodic heal-over-time effect now heals for 40% more.
  • Sacred Shield now applies its damage absorption shield immediately, can be active on more than one target at a time, but the talent now costs mana and has 3 charges with a 10-second recharge.
  • Sanctified Wrath now also increases the critical strike chance of Holy Shock by 20%.
  • Hand of Purity now reduces damage taken from harmful periodic effects by 80% (up from 70%) and reduces damage taken from harmful periodic effects that cannot be prevented by immunities by 40% (up from 0%).
  • Unbreakable Spirit has been simplified. It now reduces the cooldown on Divine Shield, Divine Protection, and Lay on Hands by 50%.

 

Those are quite a few changes to sort through. I’m going to start this off by talking about the elephant in the room: Eternal Flame has been nerfed to not apply Illuminated Healing.

Welcome to 5.4, you suck

I’m just going to go right out and say it, we’ve been nerfed. Big time.

Our main healing style for the last two tiers has been to focus on HoPo generation to use EF. The healing it did plus the constant Mastery bubbles it put up did amazingly for sheer throughput, and Blizzard took note. They decided that a majority of healing paladins taking the same talent was not something they wanted. They want us to occasionally use the other level 45 talents, and so they nerfed EF to the ground. There’s no beating around the bush here or trying to argue that the other talents have been buffed to compensate. This is an outright nerf, and if you don’t think so you’re fooling yourself.

Bouch did an amazing breakdown of the numbers for the next patch in this post. If you haven’t read it yet, you should look it over.

Basically what it comes down to next tier is that Blizzard took away the EF interactions that made us so strong and then decided not to buff us enough to make up for the loss of healing. While there are some buffs being tossed our way, EF’s HoT and Holy Insight being two of the nicer ones, they do not make up for the healing we’ve lost. Bouch breaks down very nicely that SH, EF, and SS are very close to each other after the nerf to Judgement via increased mana cost. This means that Blizzard succeeded in making the other talents viable options within comparable healing of EF. That’s not to say that its comparable to current EF, that’s far too much to ask for. The newly buffed “viable” talents are comparable to this newly nerfed EF. So yes, you can play whatever healing style your heard desires from the level 45 talents, you’ll still suck compared to now.

“Viability” and Level 45 talents

Now as far as I’ve seen from the numbers people are producing from the PTR the new versions of the talents are actually very close to each other. What this means is that you can actually play different playstyles if that’s what you want to do. If you don’t like the race for HoPo that EF is, you can play the game of cooldown management with Selfless Healer, or the maintenance of SS. It seems that gearing is still just about the same independently of what playstyle you want to go with. You can basically stick to Spirit > Mastery for any of the playstyles which will allow us to change talents between fights if certain fights are better suited to one talent over another.

Another important thing to note is that it seems Haste and Mastery are basically even as far as straight throughput goes. The main difference is that Mastery still interacts with our limited mana pool much better than Haste. You can definitely go with Haste over Mastery, but you will burn through your mana faster than you would with Mastery. There are a few more intricacies to take note of now as well though. Obviously the EF HoT doesn’t stack Mastery anymore, but the original heal does. That means that pre shielding (as much as is possible anyway) should be done with LoD before big raid damage. Haste will also interact much differently with SH than the other talents due to HS and Judgement’s cooldowns scaling from Haste. Based on numbers that I’ve seen people discussing, it seems that it takes huge amounts of Haste to make a real difference in the cooldown of HS, but you can still gear Spirit > Haste for a slightly faster moving playstyle.

Really what I’m trying to get across here is that while Blizzard did nerf us, they somewhat succeeded in making us effective with multiple different playstyles. They may not be perfectly equal, but they’re close enough now that as a Holy Paladin you can choose what healing style you like best. It’s all about the silver lining, guys.

Just keep playing

In all seriousness, just keep playing. Ignore the nay sayers and the people crying about being nerfed to hell. Blizzard made the changes as they saw fit, and now we have to deal with them. If you feel that you need to switch classes to be competitive now, go ahead and stop crying. If you’re sticking with your Holy Paladin, support people who produce productive information on our class; if that means we ask for buffs or say that were even with other healers doesn’t matter. We’ve been at a high point for the last two tiers, but now we may possibly be at a low point. I’m personally going to wait until I get to play the class on live to decide how much we’ve been nerfed, but I can tell you that there’s no way I’m switching mains. We still have fantastic survival cooldowns, we still have a strong tank cooldown, we still have a strong raid cooldown, and the patch hasn’t made us go from strong healers to instantly benched.

If you enjoy playing your Holy Paladin, you’ll still enjoy it. I’m honestly tired of hearing so many people cry about the end of the world for Holy Paladins. I can tell you that I’m going to continue playing my Holy Paladin for Hardmode progression next tier, and I hope that you will too.

This guide will be based on the strategy shown in the video below. I will try to explain how best to deal with abilities without directly relating them to Static’s strategy where I can.

The first part of the post will break down the abilities and the strategy that Static used. After that I will break down how best I think each ability should be dealt with.

Abilities

Lightning Conduits

While Lei Shen is in range of a Lightning Conduit he powers it, granting him an additional ability specific to that Lightning Conduit. The energy level of the Conduit increases the longer Lei Shen charges it, increasing damage dealt by the granted ability. When the Conduit’s power reaches 100 energy, it will increase the level of the Conduit, and the Conduit’s power will reset to 0.

North Conduit: Static Shock – Lei Shen charges the target with Static Shock. After 8 sec, Static Shock inflicts 1,300,000 Nature damage, divided among all players within 8 yards. As the level of the Static Shock Conduit increases, the number of targets Lei Shen afflicts with Static Shock will also increase.
- Damage of Static Shock increases as the Power and Level of the North Conduit increases.

East Conduit: Diffusion Chain – Lei Shen zaps a player, inflicting 100,000 Nature damage. This attack chains to nearby enemies, inflicting increased damage to each successive target. Each time Diffusion Chain strikes an enemy, a Diffused Lightning spawns at that location.As the level of the Diffusion Chain Conduit increases, the spawned Diffused Lightning elementals grow more powerful.
- Damage of Diffusion Chain increases as the Power and Level of the East Conduit increases.
Diffused Lightning – Diffusion Chain creates a Diffused Lightning for every target it strikes. Diffused Lightning’s attacks cause Chain Lightning.
- In Heroic, the Diffused Lightning will fixate on the player that it spawned from.

South Conduit: Overcharge – Lei Shen Overcharges a target player. The player becomes rooted and after 6 sec causes Overcharge to burst, creating a torus of electric energy around the target that quickly expands to create a ring with a safe area in the center. This burst inflicts 175,000 Nature damage, stunning affected targets for 3 sec. As the level of the Overcharge Conduit increases, the number of targets Lei Shen afflicts with Overcharge also increases.
- Damage of Overcharge increases as the Power and Level of the South Conduit increases.

West Conduit: Bouncing Bolt – Lei Shen conjures Bouncing Bolts that target random locations on the ground. Each Bolt inflicts 130,000 Nature damage split among players within 6 yards. If the Bouncing Bolt does not impact with a player, an Unharnessed Power forms, and the Bouncing Bolt bounces again. As the level of the Bouncing Bolt Conduit increases, the number of Bouncing Bolts that Lei Shen conjures also increases.
- Damage of Bouncing Bolt increases as the Power and Level of the West Conduit increases.
- Unharnessed Power – Each time a Bouncing Bolt impacts the ground and is not absorbed by a player, an Unharnessed Power forms.

Stage One: Thunderstruck!

Discharged Energy – If Lei Shen is not charging a Conduit, he will Discharge electricity, inflicting increasing Nature damage to all players every 0.5 sec.
Decapitate – Lei Shen throws his axe with supernatural force, inflicting 4,500,000 Physical damage and inflicting Decapitate, increasing Physical damage taken by 100% for 30 sec. The damage inflicted decreases the farther away the target is from Lei Shen.
Thunderstruck – Lei Shen winds up to hurl his axe at a target location, inflicting 1,750,000 Nature damage to nearby enemies. The damage inflicted decreases the farther away an enemy is from the impact point.
Crashing Thunder – Lei Shen calls down Thunder rapidly on targets every 1 sec causing a Lightning Crash. Crashing Thunder inflicts 150,000 Nature damage every 1 sec for 1.5 min.

Intermission: Supercharge Conduits!

When he has 65% health remaining, Lei Shen casts Supercharge Conduits, becoming invulnerable and activating all four Conduits at once, supercharging them and increasing their level by one. Lei Shen can only maintain Supercharge Conduits for 45 seconds.

Overloaded Circuits – The Conduit with the highest charge after Supercharge Conduits expires becomes Overloaded, disabling the Conduit. An Overloaded Conduit inflicts 40,000 Nature damage every 1 sec to that quadrant of the room.
- In Heroic Difficulty, instead of the Overloaded Conduit becoming disabled, it remains active for the remainder of the fight, granting Lei Shen that ability.
Helm of Command – Lei Shen forces the target off the platform by using his Helm of Command. Inflicts 75,000 Nature damage every 1 sec for 8 sec.

Stage Two: Lightning Will End You!

Discharged Energy – If Lei Shen is not charging a Conduit, he will Discharge electricity, inflicting increasing Nature damage every 0.5 sec.
Fusion Slash – Lei Shen slashes at the target with his polearm, inflicting 750,000 Nature damage, knocking the target back and increasing damage taken from Fusion Slash by 100% for 1 min.
Summon Ball Lightning – Summon several Ball Lightning elementals at the feet of random targets, inflicting 100,000 Nature damage to players within 6 yards of each elemental’s creation.
Ball Lightning – The Ball Lightning periodically rushes towards a random player, inflicting 250,000 Nature damage to that target.
- In Heroic Difficulty, Ball Lightning inflicts damage to enemies within 3 yards.
Lightning Whip – Lei Shen cracks a Lightning Whip across the floor, inflicting 800,000 Nature damage to enemies in front of him, creating a Lightning Bolt on the ground.
Lightning Bolt – Lightning Bolt inflicts 40,000 Nature damage every 0.25 sec. Lightning Bolt can be avoided by jumping over it.

Intermission: Supercharge Conduits!

When he has 30% health remaining, Lei Shen casts Supercharge Conduits, becoming invulnerable and activating all four Conduits at once, supercharging them and increasing their level by one. Lei Shen can only maintain Supercharge Conduits for 45 seconds.

Overloaded Circuits – The Conduit with the highest charge after Supercharge Conduits expires becomes Overloaded, disabling the Conduit. An Overloaded Conduit inflicts 40,000 Nature damage every 1 sec to that quadrant of the room.
- In Heroic Difficulty, instead of the Overloaded Conduit becoming disabled, it remains active for the remainder of the fight, granting Lei Shen that ability.
Helm of Command – Lei Shen forces the target off the platform by using his Helm of Command. Inflicts 75,000 Nature damage every 1 sec for 8 sec.

Stage Three: Master of Thunder and Lightning

Lei Shen casts Overwhelming Power and consumes all electricity from the Throne of Thunder, destroying any remaining functional Conduits, preventing their further activation.

Overwhelming Power – Lei Shen absorbs all of the electrical power from the Throne of Thunder, destroying any remaining functional Conduits, preventing their further activation. Overwhelming Power causes Lei Shen’s melee attacks to inflict 8,000 Nature damage every 1 sec for 8 sec.
Violent Gale Winds – Lei Shen causes the walls of his chamber to open, unleashing the force of Violent Gale Winds. The winds push players in a direction, inflicting 15,000 Nature damage every 1 sec.
Thunderstruck – Lei Shen winds up to hurl his axe at a target location, inflicting 1,750,000 Nature damage to nearby enemies. The damage inflicted decreases the farther away an enemy is from the impact point.
Summon Ball Lightning – Summon several Ball Lightning elementals at the feet of random targets, inflicting 100,000 Nature damage to players within 6 yards of each elemental’s creation.
Ball Lightning – The Ball Lightning periodically rushes towards a random player, inflicting 250,000 Nature damage to that target.
- In Heroic Difficulty, Ball Lightning inflicts damage to enemies within 3 yards.
Lightning Whip – Lei Shen cracks a Lightning Whip across the floor, inflicting 800,000 Nature damage to enemies in front of him, creating a Lightning Bolt on the ground.
Lightning Bolt – Lightning Bolt inflicts 40,000 Nature damage every 0.25 sec. Lightning Bolt can be avoided by jumping over it.

 

Encounter Strategy

*This strategy was written up by Halistra, Static’s strategic officer. Thanks to him for the write up*

Conduit Deactivation (aka abilities Lei Shen will keep for the fight)
- The level range below is close to what we are looking for and is dependent on the boss timers.
- He will have Bouncing Bolt for all of Ph2 and Ph3
- He will have Static Shock for all of Ph3 (2 Static Shocks since we will be raising it a level)
Phase 1 – West: Bouncing Bolt
- Start on West, bring as close to 100 energy
- South, move on 2nd Overcharged
- East, move ~5sec before 2nd Diffusion Chain
- North, push him before 2nd Static Shock
Phase 2 – North: Static Shock
- Start on North, raise once, move ~3 secs before 3rd static shock ~78 energy
- East, raise once, move ~5 secs before 3rd Diffusion Chain
- South, raise once, hold dps until it is raised and no Ball Lightning/Bouncing Bolt are out/about to come out… ~20 energy

Handling Thunderstruck
- For Phase 1, Ranged/Healers stack on either sides border of the quadrant we are currently charging. Once Thunderstruck circle drops on a stack location run to the opposite stack point (if applicable).
- For Phase 3, Ranged/Healers will be running to the opposite quadrant (from East to South) after Lightning Whip goes out. The goal is to drop Thunderstruck on/near the world marker. Once Thunderstruck circle drops use gateways/personal speed increases/blink/roll to get back into your spot for Ball Lightning.
- Melee move to edge of platform in ph1 to get further away from it.

Handling Ball Lightning
- 9 Ranged DPS move to designated spot in a ‘U’ around Lei Shen 6 yards from your neighbor. This is your ‘Ball Lightning’ position for all of ph2 and ph3. Must be within 20 yards of Lei Shen for…
- Death Knights Aoe grip rotation. One grip per set. Stun rotation (3) on Balls. Everyone AoE the shit out of them (this is why Brutall will be on his monk), Balls must be dead before they have a chance to jump to a target! (250k dmg on jump to everyone within 3 yrds)
IMPORTANT: Melee and Ranged/Healers who are not assigned for Ball positions must be tightly stacked on Lei Shen’s ass when Balls are about to come out. YOU ALL MUST BE WITHIN 2 YRDS OF EACHOTHER IN A TIGHT STACK.

Phase 1: Overcharge West
Start on West
- Soak orbs, damage is split.
- Handle Thunderstruck.
Move to South: with ~5 seconds left on 2nd Bouncing Bolt timer (98 energy).
- Ranged/Healers stack in the back corner of the quadrant for Overcharged. Move to Thunderstruck stack position after Overcharged goes out.
- After Thunderstruck, Ranged/Healers stack in middle of the quadrant for second Overcharged.
Move to East: as Overcharged timer reaches zero (~92 energy).
- Melee move with tanks. After Overcharged chooses a target, Ranged/Healers run over to the East platform, staying spread out in the process for Diffusion Chain.
- After Diffusion Chain goes out, get into your Thunderstruck positions.
- Dot up add from Diffusion Chain (~6mil hp).
Move to North: with ~5 seconds left on 2nd Diffusion Chain timer (~82 energy).
- Soak Static Shock like normal. Melee soak together, ranged soak together.
- Move to Thunderstruck positions and burn burn burn.
- Move to your quadrants at 66%…

Intermission 1
- Pay attention to the people around you and the timer for Diffusion Chain. Do this and we’ll breeze through intermissions.
- Stay spread around the middle of the quadrant like normal, paying close attention to our call on Diffusion Chain timer. Handling every ability as if this was normal mode.
- If you are targeted by Helm of Command (3 chosen per cast) you must run against it to avoid getting pushed off platform. These people will also be taking a lot of dmg from the channel. Use your movement increases and take a lock portal as needed.

Phase 2: Overcharge North
Start on North
- Move into Ball Lightning positions immediately.
- If a Ranged assigned for Ball Lightning gets Static Shock move into melee, tight stack with them.
- The second Ball Lightning and Bouncing Bolt are close to eachother. BALL LIGHTNING POSITIONS COME FIRST, THEN QUICKLY SOAK THE BOUNCING BOLTS.
Move to East: Before 3rd Static Shock, which is right when a Fusion Slash occurs, ~80 energy
- Melee run a little early to East (similar to the very first platform transition of the fight). Ranged/Healers run spread out for Diffusion Chain.
- Bouncing Bolts come out immediately, handle it.
- Ball Lightning comes ~2 secs after Bolts are soaked… get into positions quickly!
Move to South: With ~5 secs before 3rd Diffusion Chain
- 2-3 Ranged DPS assigned for Ball Lightning (preferably those on the LEFT side of the U), hang back about 15 yrds deep still in East for the first Over Charged.
- Bouncing Bolts come out immediately, handle it.
- First Ball Lightning comes ~8 seconds after the initial Over Charged.
- STOP DAMAGE around 33% if timers/energy level is not ideal. LISTEN FOR THE CALL AND DON’T BE DUMB, NO DMG MEANS NO DMG!

Intermission 2
- Unlike normal, Lei Shen will still be able to use all four of his conduit abilities. Stay Spread before a Diffusion Chain, solo soak Static Shock if applicable, soak Bouncing Bolts on your portion of the quadrant, DO NOT be too close to over quadrants when Over Charged timer hits zero, and we will have gateways on all three of these quadrants… yay.

Phase 3: It all comes down to this…
Start on East: remain there for rest of fight, position Lei Shen same way as you do for all previous quadrants.
- Lightning Whip comes first, everyone should be in close and clumped around him to either his left or right side so you don’t have to move much.
- Static Shocks will be soaked in melee unless you can solo soak. This is only true outside of sets 1 and 4, where Static Shocks come while the raid is all spread out fighting the wind and moving for t-struck.
- If you recieve Static Shock while moving out for T-struck or soaking a Bouncing Bolt (during winds) you HAVE to move away from everyone else. You will either be solo soaking or dying, depending on class/CD availability.
- Every melee + OT is responsible for soaking ALL Bouncing Bolts when the Thunderstruck group is running out. Which is sets 1 and 4 below.
- Ranged/Healers (except MW monks) move towards South (Triangle) immediately after Whip and be max range for dps/healing. Move further out towards South with ~ 3 seconds left on Thunderstruck timer attempting to be directly on the Triangle marker.
- As soon as Thunderstruck is out use assigned lock portals and w/e speed boosts to get back into Ball Lightning positions. You only have 5 seconds to do this!
- Check the breakdown below for exactly how the abilities will unfold in ph3…

Phase 3 ability timer/use breakdown:
- Each ‘Set’ below begins with a wind and whip and ends with 8 seconds to kill the ball lightning before the next ‘Set’
- The time difference represents the time between each ability in the list
- Red highlight means its the hardest Sets to handle

Set 1:
Wind = Whip
+5 sec Static Shock = Bouncing Bolt
+5 sec Thunderstruck
+5 sec Ball Lightning

Set 2:
Wind = Whip
+ 10 sec Thunderstruck
+5 sec Ball Lightning =Static Shock = Bouncing Bolt

Set 3:
Wind = Whip
+ 10 sec Thunderstruck
+ 5 sec Ball Lightning

Set 4:
Wind = Whip
+ 2 sec Static Shock = Bouncing Bolt
+ 8 sec Thunderstruck
+ 5 sec Ball Lightning

Set 5:
Wind = Whip
+ 10 sec Thunderstruck
+ 5 sec Ball Lightning = Static Shock = Bouncing Bolt

Set 6: (Just in case)
Wind = Whip
+ 10 sec Thunderstruck
+ 5 sec Ball Lightning
+ 8 sec Static Shock = Bouncing Bolt

 

General Healing Strategy

Phase 1

Lei Shen keeps Thunderstruck and Crashing Thunder on all of the platforms and therefore the whole of phase 1. Crashing Thunder is rather easy to deal with because it just hits melee dps and possibly the tank. Just make sure that you keep HoTs or shields on your melee as the ground effect is spawning and they should be fine. For Thunderstruck your ranged should try to be on the edge of the square that your raid is currently on. Our raid tends to stand on a particular corner and move towards the opposite corner when the cast starts. Doing this should minimize the damage so that you don’t have much to heal through for the ranged or melee groups.

Transitions are also the same for the most part the entirety of phase 1. This is where I tend to pop my cooldowns, either in preparation by tossing up some HoTs or during to quickly raid heal through the heavy damage. This is also the best time to toss out raid cooldowns during phase 1 as it is the heaviest damage you will be dealing with. My raid usually uses Devotion Aura to deal with the damage that is going out here.

West Platform

The extra mechanic on this platform is Bouncing Bolts. Our raid usually only gets one set of these which the melee soaks to avoid having the ranged running around before Thunderstruck. Tossing some shields/hots on the melee (or other soakers) as the Bolts come down should deal with the majority of the damage. Its not too much either way, so other quick healing tossed at your melee groups should get them up easily.

South Platform

On this platform you will have to deal with Overcharge. This mechanic isn’t too annoying and shouldn’t actually do any damage if your raid is positioned correctly. If you have two stacks, ranged and melee, they should be able to stack out of reach of each other. If they aren’t, tossing AoE heals at the stack that gets hit is the best way to deal with the damage.

East Platform

This platform adds Diffusion Chain into the mix of damage. This is another ability that if handled correctly doesn’t do much damage at all. In the best situation you will have it hit a single person and spawn one add. This add should be dragged into melee and killed quickly, likely being stunned the whole time. In a terrible world where your raiders are idiots and ponies die painful deaths, it will hit 3+ people. The adds should still be moved into melee for easy Aoe handling, but it means you need cooldowns. It also means your melee will hate you and likely die if you don’t pop some cooldowns and spam some serious AoE heals. More adds. Handle it.

North Platform

Static Shock is the extra ability that you have to deal with here. Your raid should again be in two groups, melee and ranged, that can easily soak up the damage here. Whichever stack soaks the Shock should just get spammed with a bit of AoE healing to deal with the damage (which really isn’t that much spread across 10+ raiders).

 

Intermission 1

Intermissions are your real healing test on this fight. Sometimes they can be handled easily enough, and sometimes they are a huge pain in your ass. Be willing to burn up healing cooldowns and life saving buttons on these phases. During the first intermission you have to deal with all four of the platform abilities: Static Shock, Overcharged, Diffusion Chain, and Bouncing Bolts. On top of that you will also have Helm of Command going out on random people. The first intermission is also harder because you have four platforms to deal with and may likely be healing a platform alone.

Diffusion Chain and Overcharged should (hopefully) not do much damage. As long as your group stacks and spreads appropriately, neither of these abilities will have a large impact. We all know that those are very difficult tasks though, so be prepared to heal up people making mistakes.

Bouncing Bolts will likely hit everyone on your platform, so the shields/hots that you have available to you should be spread preemptively and the ability should be followed by some burst healing to get everyone back up. Static Shock is a terrible ability to deal with during the intermission. Hopefully whoever gets it can negate most of the damage via an immunity, but if not be prepared to stack and pop healing/damage mitigation cooldowns. Even then this ability has the power to take down people, just pray that it goes well.

 

Phase 2

Phase 2 throws some different abilities from phase 1 at you and creates some more interesting situations. On top of the aforementioned platform abilities you will have to deal with Fusion Slash on the tanks, Ball Lightning Damage, and Lightning Whip. Fusion Slash is the easiest to handle as it just requires some quick healing on one tank and switching your focus to the other tank. Easy peasy, right? Lightning Whip should also not do too much as long as your raid doesn’t stand on the lines left behind.

Ball Lightning on the other hand is the real mechanic of this phase. My raid dealt with it by having nine of our raiders standing the appropriate distance away from each other at ranged, and the rest of the raid in melee. The Balls were then pulled into melee and stunned. This made it so that the only people taking damage from them were our ranged soakers. You can prepare for this by keeping shields/hots on those people and being ready to heal the up when Ball Lightning goes out.

Now on top of that just remember the individual abilities for each platform as well as transitioning from one platform onto the next. No problem there, right?

 

Intermission 2

This intermission has the same mechanics as the first, but will be different in handling because you only have three platforms to cover. My raid dealt with this by having the majority of the raid stack up on one platform and having people who could solo soak Static Shock on the other platforms. This made healing all platforms significantly easier because (as long as Diffusion Chain and Bouncing Bolts were handled properly) there wasn’t any real damage going out during this intermission.

 

Phase 3

I’d like to say it gets easier here, but unfortunately it doesn’t. During this phase you have to deal with Lightning Whip, Ball Lightning, Thunderstruck, and Violent Gale Winds. All of these abilities combine to create a situation where you have to deal with consistent raid damage followed by serious burst damage. Just a regular stroll in the park at this point really.

Going into this phase you start off with Winds doing light damage which increases the more it goes out. This gives your raid a soft enrage to deal with and makes your life as a healer living hell if the dps don’t carry their own weight. Raid cooldowns should be saved for the later Winds/Thunderstruck combos, but use your personal healing cooldowns if you feel necessary. I tend to use mine after I’ve positioned myself coming back from Thunderstruck. Using it before Winds is generally a waste as you’ll be moving the whole time, and using it after you’ve positioned yourself helps get the raid back up before the next Winds goes up.

Bouncing Bolts are also going out occasionally, so be ready to heal whoever is staying out of melee to spawn them. There’s a lot going on here, but a shield/HoT on those soakers will make a world of a difference if you can toss it out.

Holy Paladin Healing Strategy

For this fight I use EF, HA, and Holy Prism.

During phase 1 I like to keep EF rolling on the melee for the first platform since they take the majority of the damage. I also save my Holy Prism for right after the Thunderstruck damage if the raid isn’t taking a lot of damage before that. After Thunderstruck goes out I use my Wings/HA to toss EF on the melee and as many ranged as I can. Since the melee end up out of range for a bit these HoTs are the only healing I do to them for a good portion of this platform. For the second platform transition I use DF once I position myself on the third platform and spam HR on the melee while using the HoPo for EF on ranged. For the last platform switch I use Guardian and bomb whichever stack has Static Shock on it.

This usually sets me up to have HA back up for the intermission. After Overcharged goes out I use HA and get an EF rolling on everyone in my platform, paying special attention to whoever has Helm on them. If we have to stack for a Static Shock I spam HR on our group to get up as big a Mastery shield on everyone as possible.

Going into phase 2 I pop Wings and get EF up on our Lightning Ball soakers. I use HR on the raid pile to build HoPo and then toss the EFs on the soakers throughout the majority of phase 2. As we transfer to the second platform of the phase, I use Divine Favor and HA to spam some quick healing on the raid. As we move to the third platform I usually use Devotion Aura to lessen the damage. The last platform usually doesn’t have large amounts of damage for us, so I just continue my strategy of EF on the soakers. The second intermission is usually dealt with the same as the first.

Due to when I burn cooldowns and the length of the intermission I usually have all of my cooldowns up for phase 3. I use HA to get EF up on as many people as possible before the first Wind and toss what healing I can during it. For the second Wind I burn Wings and do the same. By the third Wind damage is ramping up and the fight is getting crazy, so I use both DF and Guardian if necessary. The extra haste is nice to get your heals off as you run around like a headless chicken. After that just keep throwing up EFs and raid healing as best you can while praying that the boss falls down dead soon.

So as most of you are aware, today Patch 5.3 dropped! With it come a few different changes that we need to be aware of as healers and specifically changes for Holy Paladins. I’ll try to write up on what I think is important, and later this week I’ll update the guide for 5.3. I’ll start by listing all the important changes for us.

  • Mastery: Illuminated Healing now places an absorb shield for 10% of the amount healed, down from 12%.
  • Daybreak is now a stackable effect with a duration of 10 seconds, stacks up to 2 times, and causes the next Holy Shock to also heal other allies within 10 yards of the target for an amount equal to 75%/150% of the original healing done. Daybreak no longer incorrectly hits the primary target of the Holy Shock.
  • Tier-14 Holy Paladin 4-piece set bonus now reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 1 second, down from 2 seconds.
  • Glyph of the Battle Healer Using melee attacks while using Seal of Insight heals a nearby injured friendly target, excluding the Paladin, within 30 yards for 30% 20% of damage dealt. Major Glyph.

Battle Healer

I realize its a little odd to include this here as this nerf won’t apply to most Holy Paladins, but I’m aware that some people may be using this glyph. If so it’s important to note that it has had a 10% nerf applied to the damage>Healing conversion. It just makes the glyph even worse for us and means that our Protection Paladin brothers in arms can’t carry us with massive healing anymore. Oh well, it was nice to underheal fights while it lasted.

Daybreak

This change isn’t too complicated and is one of the few buffs we are being graced with this patch (Its really the only one but saying that makes me sad). It locks us into a HR>HR>HS rotation for our AoE healing, but an extra 50% healing from that Daybreak coupled with our Tier 15 Two Piece should be a nice boost to AoE healing. Hopefully this works out to give us a decent boost, although I doubt it’ll make up for our Mastery nerf.

Mastery Nerf

This is by far the biggest of the nerfs being applied to us. Our base Mastery is being nerfed by a flat 2%. The scaling is also being nerfed, so that we now need 480 points of Mastery to gain 1% Mastery instead of just 400.In total this means our Mastery will be doing about 83% of the healing it was doing before.  That’s a significant drop when on most fights Mastery can account for a few million in heals. It is also a roundabout nerf to Eternal Flame, and our Mastery’s ability to work so well with Eternal Flame is likely the reason it is being nerfed in the first place.

To try to explain that a little bit: Our Mastery applies a bubble based on healing done, and Eternal Flame is a 30 second Heal-over-Time. That means that if we constantly toss out Eternal flame as a spot heal to use up our Holy Power, we will be constantly building our Mastery over a large group of the raid. In so nerfing Mastery, instead of Eternal Flame, Blizzard is attempting to stop us from spamming Eternal Flame as a raid heal meant to stack our Mastery shields. This may make it so that we cast Light of Dawn more often, but I sincerely doubt that since EF itself is not being nerfed and it is still an overly strong spell. We’ll just have to wait and see how this effect plays out though.

Tier 14 Nerf

Another very important part of this patch for us is the nerf that is being applied to our Tier 14 4 Piece. It has remained an extremely powerful set bonus, so it is being nerfed to force us to move onto our Tier 15 gear. This really sucks as the newer bonus is not as strong as 2 seconds off of Holy Shock, but between stats and this nerf it is now necessary to drop Tier 14 gear.

Now, as to what gear to pick up. I am personally aiming to have my Tier 15 Four Piece bonus through use of the Helm, Shoulders, Gloves, and Legs. I plan on using the chest from Lei Shen unless I eventually don’t need the Spirit and can make use of some of the the other chests without Spirit. I personally think that this will be the best option as even the minor healing bonus from Four Piece is free healing. I very much understand the argument that the Four Piece isn’t worth it when we have some realistic alternatives though. Some other players that I have spoken to have decided to go for our Two Piece with the Helm and Shoulders and will be picking up some Thunderforged off pieces for all the other slots. The extra stats on these pieces may actually be more than enough to make up for the lack of the weak Four Piece, so both are viable choices in gearing. It all comes down to what you personally think will work best for you.

I’ll go ahead and list the Tier pieces and their possible off pieces in case someone is interested in seeing what is available to them.

I’ve only listed what I’m using for now. I have a final to go take shortly, so Ill update this later once I get some free time. 

Helm

Lightning Emperor’s Headguard

Shoulders

Lightning Emperor’s Mantle

 

Chest

Lei Shen’s Grounded Carapace

 

Gloves

Lightning Emperor’s Gloves

Legs

Lightning Emperor’s Greaves

*IF I get time I will make a video for this guide that has our kill footage. As of now I don’t have much time, but I wanted to put up a guide so here’s the written portion at the very least.*

Abilities

Titan Gas – Titan Gas fills the room, inflicting 17000 Frost damage every 1 sec. to all players and energizing both players and constructs, increasing melee damage dealt.

Emperor’s Rage – The smallest Terracotta warriors, the Emperor’s Rage strike quickly with dual axes and often formed the forward lines in Lei Shin’s mechanical armies.

  • Focused Assault – Every Emperor’s Rage fixates on a random player, attacking only that player until the player dies or the Rage can no longer attack them.
  • Unarmored – The Emperor’s Rage wear very little armor, and all types of crowd control effects work against them.

Emperor’s Courage – The Emperor’s Courage carry a polearm to harry opponents and form a powerful defensive wall with shields and armor.

  • Focused Defense – The Emperor’s Courage comes to the aid of Jan-xi or Qin-xi by fixating on a tank, attacking only that player until the player dies or the Courage can no longer attack them.
  • Impeding Thrust – The Impeding Thrust of the Emperor’s Courage inflicts 150% normal melee damage and reduces the target’s movement speed by 25% for 10 sec. Stacks up to $117485U times.
  • Half Plate – The Emperor’s Courage wear armor protecting the front of their bodies. The Half Plate blocks or deflects any damage dealt by players to the front of the Emperor’s Courage, but they remain susceptible to movement impairing effects.

Emperor’s Strength – The heavily-armored Emperor’s Strength strike earth-shaking blows with their massive two-handed hammers.

  • Energizing Smash – The Emperor’s Strength smash the ground in front of them, inflicting 100000 Physical damage to players within 10 yards of the strike zone and stunning them for 2 sec. The radius of the effect increases by 1 yard after each use of Energizing Smash.
  • Full Plate – The Emperor’s Strength wear heavy armor that grants them immunity to all crowd control effects.

Titan Spark – When any construct dies, it releases a Titan Spark.

  • Focused Energy – A newly created Titan Spark fixates on a player, attacking only that player until the player dies or the Spark can no longer attack them.
  • Energy of Creation – When a Titan Spark dies or gets close to any player, it releases the Energy of Creation. The Energy inflicts 750000 Nature damage to all players within 8 yards and energizes any constructs, increasing their attack speed by 50% for 2 min. This effect stacks.

Jan-xi and Qin-xi

Jan-xi and Qin-xi activate after 90 seconds and share their health pool.

  • Devastating Combo - Jan-xi and Qin-xi perform a devastating combination of ten attacks.
  • Devastating Arc – Jan-xi and Qin-xi strike a 25 yard hemispherical area to the left, right, or in front of them. These Devastating Arc attacks inflict 150000 Physical damage and reduce the target’s armor by 10% for 30 sec. Stacks up to $116835U times. The immense power of these attacks ignore any player effects that grant damage immunity.
  • Stomp – Jan-xi and Qin-xi stomp the ground, inflicting 100000 Physical damage to all players within 12 yards and stunning them for 2 sec. The immense power of this attack ignores player effects that grant damage immunity.
  • Magnetic Armor – Jan-xi and Qin-xi magnetize their current targets for 10 sec. If a magnetized player moves more than 16 yards away from the constructs, a strong magnetic force pulls them back.

General Healing Strategy

So needless to say, there’s a lot going on for this fight. There are a ton of adds to deal with (with each releasing another add), the bosses, and the gas throughout the whole damn fight. It can easily become too much to deal with, so I’ll try to break down the strategy and healing that I used for this fight piece by piece (and add by add where possible).

Titan gas is consistently doing damage to the whole raid, so be prepared for a ton of raid healing.

For our strategy we had mages keep the Rage adds locked down until they were killed, so we didn’t have to deal with much damage from them. Occasionally there was one running lose, but if done perfectly there shouldn’t be much damage from the Rage adds. DPS should also manage to kill of the other adds before they do any real damage. Courage will bolt directly for your tanks, and if they reach them you’ll have huge amounts of tank damage via failed dancing. As long as the Courage dies on time, there wont be much damage there though. Strength damage is also very random as it will only really hurt your Strength tanks when they get stunned. Be prepared to toss heals at them, but hope that they don’t take much damage at all.

Each of these adds will also drop a Spark, which will almost definitely kill anyone that gets hit. Most strategies I’ve seen use a soaker like a Hunter with Deterance or a Shadow Priest with Dispersion to soak a wave of Sparks. This means that Sparks should be doing negligible damage as well, but with certain classes they may still hurt a bit. You may also have someone hit a Spark accidentally and somehow survive, so be prepared to throw a clutch heal to save them.

The bosses do damage that comes in waves. Once their mana bar is full, they will start doing their Devastating Combo. Your tank really needs to avoid that ability as it is a huge amount of damage. They should not be taking any damage during a dance. Once the boss’ energy is gone, he will once again melee your tank for a large amount of damage. This is a pattern that you should take advantage of to do as much healing for the raid as possible. You should keep one of the bosses focused so as to easily see their energy bar. This will let you know when the boss will be meleeing and when he will be dancing and this allows you to plan when you can be tank or raid healing. During the melee period I will continually cast heals on my tank and use use raid heals only when easily available . Once the dance period starts I will move away from the bosses slightly and do as much healing as I can for the raid.

 

Holy Paladin Healing Strategy

The way you heal this fight depends a lot on what exactly you’re going to be doing. The large consistent raid damage makes it very possible to use an EF/DP raid healing strategy, but the large tank damage also supports an SS spec with your preferred of the throughput cooldowns. For our kills I personally used SS and DP so that I and my guild’s other Holy Paladin could focus the tanks together and leave the raid healing to the other healers. I also advise not to use the 4 Piece PvP bonus on this fight as getting in melee range of anything for CS is going to be very difficult.

Because the majority of adds didn’t do much damage, I simply made sure to be in range of the Strength tanks and the boss tanks the whole fight. Those were the primary people taking damage from anything other than Gas, so I tried to HS the Strength tanks while casting on the boss tanks. Getting hit by a Spark is almost assuredly a death, but a few times I did manage to save someone with a very fast LoH. Its rare, but sometimes some classes can survive it. If needed remember that you are also able to soak sparks with Bubble. I wouldn’t volunteer to be a regular soaker as you need to be ready to heal, but in an emergency you can definitely handle it.

Since I heal with another Holy Paladin, we each kept our Beacon on one tank and healed the other (who also got our SS). This gave us each a bit of cover on each other and gave both tanks a consistent amount of raid healing. This double cover also allowed me to use LoD during the melee period a lot more often than I needed to use WoG. I also tried to save cooldowns for the tanks since the raid damage was mostly even the whole fight. This is another reason that you should be aware of when dance is going on. If your tank is taking huge amounts of damage and you want to maximize a cooldown on them, use it as early in a melee period as you can. If you go into a dance period with a cooldown it wont do as much for you in tank healing.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7ecBiYHjLs

Abilities

Shared Abilities:

Energized Tiles – The energy of the living stone flows through the room tiles, empowering players and permanent pets and increasing damage dealt by 1% and Spirit by 1%. This effect stacks.

Rend Flesh – The Guardian rends the flesh of the target, causing 36650 Physical damage every 1 sec. Lasts 15 sec.

Overload – Upon reaching full energy the guardian overloads, inflicting 120000 Shadow damage to all enemies and interrupting Amethyst Petrification. The Overload does not free fully petrified enemies.

Living X – 10 charges of the energy that animates the Amethyst Guardian tear though your body. Each charge inflicts 8500 (+ 10% of SpellPower) Shadow damage every 1 sec. Players drain the energy charges into white floor tiles to energize them.

Individual Boss abilities:

Amethyst Pool – The Amethyst Guardian creates a pool that inflicts 60000 (+ 4.2% of SpellPower) Shadow damage every 1 sec. to enemies who enter the area. Lasts 1 min.

Cobalt Mine – Launches a charged cobalt shard at a player’s location. After a 3 sec arming time, any player within 7 yds will detonate the shard, inflicting 92625 to 97375 Arcane damage and rooting all players within 7 yds for 6 sec.

Jade Shards – The Jade Guardian fires shards of jade in all directions, inflicting 26125 to 28875 Nature damage to all players.

Jasper Chains – The Jasper Guardian chains two enemy targets together. While the targets are over 10 yds apart the chains inflict 20000 Fire damage, increased by 10% for each second they remain apart. The chains will break if the targets remain apart for 15 total seconds.

Holy Paladin Healing Strategy

For this fight I think that the spec you run with should include Hand of Purity and Eternal Flame/Divine Purpose. Due to this talent set up, I also think that the PvP Four Piece will work very well for this fight.

This fight, on 25 man, is a three tank fight that requires a lot of healing on both the tanks and the raid. The reason I like taking HoPurity is that it decreases the overall tank damage going out. If you keep this on cooldown throughout the whole fight, tank damage will be significantly lowered. Using the EF healing style, I tend to keep my beacon on the tank I am assigned to while I heal the rest of the raid. For me that is usually enough to keep a constant amount of strong heals going towards the tank. I usually make sure to prioritize the other two tanks for EF as well because of the high constant damage that they take. It’s a bit of a waste to put EF up on your own tank as you can do more overall healing by having that EF on another person and letting Beacon carry heals to the tank. If the damage they are taking warrants it though put one on them as well.

As far as raid healing, spread EF as much as possible. You want to make sure that the people lighting tiles get a heal because they run out of range a lot, so make sure to put heals on them. As usual, you also want to put your area based heals such as Holy Radiance and Light’s Hammer on the melee where you’re sure to heal a large number of people. On the other hand, your EF spread should be prioritized on the ranged who are spread out and will benefit from the individual heals much more.

General Healing Strategy

Because of the varied abilities, there is a place for every type of healer to shine on this encounter. The Spirit buff granted by Energized Tiles is also very important for healers. It makes it so that mana should not be a real issue throughout the majority of this fight. There is a constant amount of damage going out due to the pools, mines, and chains, and the Shards also add a bit of burst damage periodically through the fight. Shard damage isn’t exactly high most of the time, but in my opinion it presents a different challenge than the other abilities. This damage is complimented by the boss’ Overload ability which due to Petrify wont hit very hard, but it still adds a larger more spread out amount of damage than the other abilities that are happening throughout the fight.

As a healer you want to have a method set up to consistently keep healing going on the entire raid while being ready for the small bursts presented by Shards and Overload. Whether that means saving cooldowns for times when excessive damage stacks up with these small bursts or using a strategy more set up for large amounts of burst healing, be prepared to deal with that. Even small cooldowns, like a paladin’s Light’s Hammer or a priest’s Sanctuary would be better used in conjunction with these small bursts where everyone is taking damage than on cooldown with scattered damage.

Do remember that tank damage is also very high on this encounter. The tank that is holding two of the Stone Guards at once may need a lot more healing than the other tanks, but luckily Rend Flesh doesn’t stack (Blizzard doesn’t entirely hate healers after all). Be ready to toss mitigation cooldowns on all tanks, but especially the multiple boss tank.

This is going to be a short guide that includes the talents, glyphs, raid composition (for 25 man) and general cooldown preparation that I used for healing Normal Terrace of Endless Spring. Although it is aimed specifically at Holy Paladins, Ill try to keep the healing talk general so that other classes can get some use out of this as well. Post any questions on fights you may have in the comments and Ill do my best to answer them.

This is the general spec I run with, and unless I state otherwise these are the talents that I use. I also want to say that while I advise a certain talent spec, you can do every fight with whatever talents as long as you figure out a way to make them work for you. I want to add to this by saying that despite what many people will have you think, running PvP 4 Piece and Eternal Flame are not the only way to heal as a Holy Paladin. Its the way to get the absolute best numbers if that’s all you’re interested in, but parsing is not the same as doing your job.

Protectors of the Endless

Tanks: 2
Healers: 5
Talent Changes: None

This fight is a council type fight like Iron Council from Ulduar. When one boss is killed the other two are healed to full and gain a stack of Sha Corruption. This fight has a lot of possible mechanics based on which boss is killed first, so I am going to describe this fight based on the easiest order: Kaolan > Regail > Asani

The fight starts with all three bosses active in the center of the very large room. Each boss has an ability that they add to the fight at this point, and they are Touch of Sha (Kaolan), Lightning Bolt & Lightning Prison (Regail), and Water Bolt & Cleansing Waters. Lightning and Water Bolt shouldn’t actually cause much damage throughout Phase 1 as they can be interrupted, so the main source of damage should be the person tanking Kaolan and the Lightning Prisons that go out. Lightning Prison should be dispelled when it goes out to avoid the damage from hitting the group. It is capable of being put on Meele, and on a stacked group it will do a large amount of damage. Other than that, just make sure to keep steady heals going towards the tank. Good use of SS and Beacon heals can make the healing in this phase extremely easy to deal with.

Once Kaolan dies, the two remaining bosses gain an extra ability each. Asani gains Corrupted Waters and Regail gains Lightning Storm. Lightning Storm is similar to World in Flames from Ragnaros in that you want to stand on the edge of the first ring when it appears to be ready to run into that area once the second larger ring appears. This can be a large source of damage if people in your raid are dumb and decide to stand in the Storm for very long. The other new mechanic, Corrupted Waters, should be used to buff yourself. It is an add that needs to be killed, and if you stand near it when it dies you will gain Purified. Take advantage of it as much as possible.

When Regail has been killed, Asani will gain the ability Overwhelming Corruption. This ability makes the last phase of the fight into a dps burn with a large amount of damage the longer you stay in this phase. You want to be prepared to use your strong cooldowns as necessary, and be aware that this damage can be reduced with Devotion Aura.

Tsulong

Tanks:2
Healers: 6
Talent Changes: Eternal Flame, Divine Purpose, Stay of Execution, Glyph of Flash of Light

This fight is honestly one of my favorites in the tier. A heal the boss fight isn’t the most interesting of mechanics, but it definitely gives us the opportunity to do something we don’t normally do. Its split into two phases: the Night phase which is a high raid damage kill the boss phase, and the Day phase which is a single target healing portion. Your purpose on this fight is to get our numbers as high as possible when healing the boss, you think you can handle that?

Lets start with the boring part: Night Phase. During the Night Tsulong will be a normal style boss fight. The abilities that he casts are Dread ShadowsNightmares, and Shadow Breath. To avoid Shadow Breath, simply don’t stand in front of him. He’s a dragon, what more did you expect? As for Nightmares, purple circles will appear on the ground. Make sure to move out of them and keep your Dispel button ready because someone is bound to mess it up and get feared. Lastly, look for Sunbeam in the room to be able to drop the Dread Shadows debuff. You can likely take it up to 12+ stacks without much damage, especially with smart use of  Divine Protection. Just make sure not to be dumb enough to constantly stand in the Sunbean as it will disappear faster the longer you stand in it.

Now the fun part! During the Day Tsulong becomes friendly and needs to be healed up. Before I get to the strategy I use, Ill explain the full mechanics of this phase though. There will be waves of adds spawning all throughout the Day, and one of them casts Terrorize. This will do a huge amount of damage to Tsulong if it is allowed to stay up. You need to be prepared to Dispel it as soon as it goes out. The adds that are up will also do consistent damage to the raid, so you can’t completely tunnel on the boss (Unless you assign someone else to heal the raid while you go to town). During the Day, make sure you are standing in front of Tsulong as he will now cast Sun Breath. That buff is amazing and it will be highly abused to heal Tsulong.

Onto the actual dragon healing strategy. As soon as Tsulong becomes friendly, cast Beacon of Light on him. Follow it up with a Flash of Light to proc your glyph buff and then a 3 HP EF. You want to make sure that during the day all of your direct casts healing spells are on Tsulong unless its absolutely necessary to cast on someone else. Any extra EFs or DP procs should be cast on the raid though, as you don’t want to override an extremely powerful HoT for a weaker one. For this fight I use a macro that looks like this:

#showtooltip Avenging Wrath
/cast Avenging Wrath
/cast Divine Favor
/cast Guardian of Ancient Kings
/use Potion of the Jade Serpent

I find it very useful, but it’s not entirely necessary. Now, the healing on this phase revolves around Sun Breath. You want to use any cooldowns or potions that you want right before it hits. Once it actually hits you, do the following: Flash of Light > 3 HP EF > Flash of Light > Stay of Execution. This will put up both HoT abilities and buff them both with the Breath and your glyph. Apart from this, make sure that you do not override the HoT outside of a Breath. Again, make sure that your direct casts (HS, FoL, DL) are on Tsulong and spend HP to spread more EFs that will heal him through Beacon.

Lei Shi

Tanks: 2
Healers: 5
Talent Changes: None

This fight is fairly simple and the majority of the healing is tank damage. Throughout the entirety of the fight, Lei Shi will simply cast Spray on the current tank. This needs to be dropped every few seconds to avoid tank damage getting too high, but she will progressively cast faster due to Afraid. Be ready for tank damage to be absolutely ridiculous towards the end of the fight. This tak damage is also why I stick with Sacred Shield for this encouter. Having that shield on the tank at all times will go a long way in smoothing out the huge amounts of damage going out.

The other mechanics of the fight add a bit of diversified damage to keep you awake as you spam the tank. Protect is an ability that Lei Shi will cast every 20% of her health. She will continue to attack her aggro target throughout the duration of her shield, but the adds that are summoned will be the primary source of damage going out. They hit like trucks individually, and there are quite a few of them. Be prepared to toss a cooldown on the tank that is grabbing them and spam heal him as best you can. The other abilities that interchange on a set timer are Hide and Get Away!. Get Away causes a large amount of raid damage while forcing you to continually move. Because of this movement, I use HA for this portion of the fight to try to get in as many LoDs as possible. You can use Divine Protection and Devotion to mitigate some of this damage, but it is definitely a challenge to heal through it. Hide on the other hand doesn’t present much damage at all if people stay away from the tank who has aggro. She will continue to cast Spray on that tank, so if people are near him they will take damage from it as well.

Sha of Fear

Tanks: 3
Healers: 6
Talent Changes: EF, DP

This fight actually doesn’t have too much going on for being the penultimate of the tier. Throughout the fight you transition between the main platform, where the Sha is present, and outer shrines. Ill explain the main platform and the Sha first and then explain the other platforms.

The Sha has a few different abilities itself and summons adds throughout the entire fight. The Sha’s abilities are ThrashBreath of FearEerie Skull, and the adds it summons use Penetrating Bolt. Penetrating Bolt and Breath of Fear are abilities that just need to be avoided. The Breath is avoided by simply standing within the boundary of the giant cone that your tank creates by standing in the light in front of the Sha. There should never be a point where you, as a healer, take damage from this ability. Be prepared for your dps to get hit by this though. Some DPS do tend to tunnel the adds and not realize that this ability is coming, but unfortunately for them it hits so hard that saving them may not be possible. Penetrating Bolt is also something that you just need to move out of. The landing point will be marked by a circle on the ground that needs to be moved out of. As long as you’re paying attention to your feet you shouldn’t get hit by this ability. Thrash and Eerie Skull on the other hand will simply be damage going out that needs to be healed through.

The only other mechanic present on this fight is the boss’ Ominous Cackle ability. If you get chosen for this ability you will be moved to the outer platform, along with a tank and three dps, to kill an add. The add has to die in time for your tank to get back to tank the boss, so this requires a good amount of damage going out from your group. You as the healer then need to do your best to keep them alive through Dread Spray. In my experience this ability has a knack for fearing you just as you need to save someone, which is why I like using EF for this fight. The other abilities present on the platform are Death Blossom  and Sha Globe. Death Blossom simply has to be LoSd by hiding behind the pillars on the platform. The damage is too high to reliably survive otherwise, so don’t try to stand in and heal through it. The Sha Globes you should simply run over and use to replenish your mana. Make sure that you pick up any that go out because if you don’t they will heal the add for a huge amount.

This is going to be a short guide that includes the talents, glyphs, raid composition (for 25 man) and general cooldown preparation that I used for healing Normal Heart of Fear. Although it is aimed specifically at Holy Paladins, Ill try to keep the healing talk general so that other classes can get some use out of this as well. Post any questions on fights you may have in the comments and Ill do my best to answer them.

This is the general spec I run with, and unless I state otherwise these are the talents that I use. I also want to say that while I advise a certain talent spec, you can do every fight with whatever talents as long as you figure out a way to make them work for you. I want to add to this by saying that despite what many people will have you think, running PvP 4 Piece and Eternal Flame are not the only way to heal as a Holy Paladin. Its the way to get the absolute best numbers if that’s all you’re interested in, but parsing is not the same as doing your job.

Also of importance is the fact that most of these fights include huge amounts of physical damage that cannot be mitigated by Devotion Aura and that you need to glyph Divine Protection for if you are having trouble surviving.

Imperial Vizier Zor’lok

Healers: 5
Tanks: 1
Talent Changes: None

This fight has a few different abilities that need to be dealt with that each require a different amount or style of healing.  The boss has three platforms that each grant him an ability, and the last phase of the fight involves fighting him in the center of the room where he will have all three abilities at once. The boss has one ability that lasts the entire fight, Exhale which should be soaked by a tank to avoid the damage on the target. I’ll start by breaking up each individual platform.

The first platform grants the boss the Force and Verve ability which is an AoE ability that will damage the entire raid with physical damage. The boss also tosses out a few bubbles that the raid can stand in to mitigate some of the damage, but it is still enough that you need to be prepared to do some burst AoE. This ability is the reason that I like HA on this fight. You can pop HA as the ability begins and then chain LoD with HS and HR weaved in between to get your 3 HP. LH should also be dropped on as many people as possible as this ability goes out.

The second platform grants the boss Attenuation. This ability releases rings from the boss that should be avoided. If done properly no healing is required through this phase, but lets be serious for a second: someones going to screw up and you need to cover their ass. The best way to do this is to go into the ability with full Holy Power. This phase requires you to keep moving, so you can only use instants to try to save people. If a few people take a hit you can toss out a LoD, or if one person really needs it you can use a WoG to save them. Lay on Hands can also be used here, and if its absolutely necessary you can use Bubble and continue to heal through the ability. You can also toss LH on the path that your group will be running through, but this may be better spent once the group comes back together to heal everyone up.

The third platform grants the boss Convert which is just another MC to deal with. The targets need to be dpsd down and then healed back up. LoH can be a nice clutch heal here if your dps get a little too eager to dps someone down and they break MC with a real possibility of dying.

The last phase includes all of these abilities and so is a combination of the strategies used for all of the platforms.

Blade Lord Ta’yak

Healers: 5
Tanks: 2
Talent Changes: Hand of Purity or Clemency

This fight has two very distinct phases. The first includes a lot of burst healing situations while the second has constant damage going out to the whole raid.

The first phase lasts until the boss reaches 20% health. The abilities that the boss uses for this are Tempest SlashUnseen StrikeWind Step, and Overwhelming Assault. OA is an ability that only affects tanks, and you should be prepared for tanks to be taking spiky damage as their stacks get higher. SS should greatly help with keeping that damage more regular, so don’t forget to put it up. Tempest Slash is a very simple ability that comes down more to your raid paying attention to where they’re standing so as to not get tornadoes in inopportune locations.

Wind Step is a DoT ability that does a lot of damage. This is the reason that I take either HoPurity or Clemency over US on this fight. The ability can be taken off of the target through immunities and Hand of Protection, or the damage can be decreased with HoPurity. Either works, and it really depends on how many targets there are. HoProtection is great if you only have one target, but Purity works better if you have a few targets getting hit and want to spread the damage reduction.

Unseen Strike is the largest raid damage that goes out in phase one. If done properly, your whole raid will get hit for a decent amount of physical damage. To deal with this burst damage I like to use HA to quickly heal everyone up with LoD. LH can also be tossed down after your melee group stacks up again (Ranged needs to be spread because of Wind Step).

Phase two is a burn phase with an interesting mechanic. It requires the raid to run from one end of the room to the other while continuing to take a large amount of damage. I found that as a paladin it was very hard to heal through this phase while continuing to heal. HA made one of the running phases (there are two: one at 20% and one at 10%) a lot easier, but our toolkit just isn’t built for healing while on the move. Once everyone gets to the part of the room where the boss is stationed, its much easier to just stack up and use LH and HR to heal everyone back up.

 

Garalon

Healers: 6
Tanks: 2
Talent Changes: EF and DP

Garalon is a fight with a ridiculous amount of raid damage going out. This fight is made perfectly suited to EF blanketing because of this consistently high raid damage. Pheromones will continually do large amount of damage as long as your raid is fighting Garalon, and Crush adds a large amount of burst damage into the mix. I would advise following the EF healing strategy, which I outline HERE, and using LH on as many people as possible during Crush. The fight is pretty straightforward as long as Pheremones are handled properly, so there really isn’t much else to say about this fight.

Wind Lord Mel’jarak

Healers: 5
Tanks: 2
Talent Changes: None

This fight has two sorts of phases. During the first you are dealing with both the boss and his army of adds, and in my opinion a lot more damage. During the second phase you are dealing entirely with the boss, and to make up for this he hits quite a bit harder.

During the first phase, the adds that are up use Corrosive Resin  and Kor’thik Strike periodically on the raid. The damage that each individual ability inflicts isn’t huge, but there are happening at the same time as the boss’s abilities. Wind Lord uses Whirling Blade and Rain of Blades above 70% health. Rain is a very high damage physical ability that require a strong amount of burst healing that is perfect for HA. If you have the mana to do so, it is also very effective to spread illuminated healing through HR before Rain goes out. Do keep in mind that doing so very mana taxing though. Whirling Blade on the other hand can be avoided completely if people are paying attention. People do tend to get hit by it though, so be prepared to heal through that damage as well.

Once the adds are dead and you begin to push the boss’s health, he will begin to cast Wind Bomb. This ability should never actually go off unless your fellow raiders are dumb and stand in it. If they do stand on one there will definitely be some trouble with healing the raid up as all ranged should be spread out to deal with Wind Bomb. The boss will also be hitting harder with all his abilities at this point due to Recklessness (which is linking incorrectly). On normal it actually acts differently, it increases his damage by 50% and stacks with no duration. This makes Rain of Blades a very hard hitting ability once all the adds are dead and also makes Whirling Blade much more of a threat if not avoided.

Amber-Shaper Un’sok

Healers: 5
Tanks: 2
Talent Changes: Hand of Purity, EF/DP

This fight has three phases that each have a strong amount of damage going out and each carry a lot more damage than the last phase. An ability that is present throughout the whole fight needs to be watched carefully though. Parasitic Growth is an DoT that absorbs healing to increase the damage dealt. If you try to heal someone with Parasitic Growth on them, you’re going to kill them. This also means that people with Parasites need to move out of AoE healing if they are taking large amounts of damage. I’ve noticed that because of AoE heals, the damage gets higher regardless of no direct heals because of the incidental AoE healing. To deal with this I use HoPurity on the target later in the debuffs time span.

The first phase of the fight includes the boss and periodic adds that he summons. The main ability that is dealt with is Amber Scalpel and the Living Amber that are summoned through it. The adds focus on random players and deal moderate physical damage, but their real threat is dealt with their explosion upon dying. The damage is not huge, but it will definitely keep you busy with healing.

The second phase has a lot of damage going out, but a majority of it can be avoided as long as your fellow raiders aren’t dumb about dealing with mechanics. The second phase revolves around the Amber Monstrosity and Un’sok’s Reshape Life. During this stage, Un’sok continues to use his phase one abilities, but the Monstrosity presents much more damage to be had. The Monstrosity will use Massive Stomp periodically and presents some burst to be added to the constant damage brought by Living Amber. The Monstrosity will also try to cast Amber Explosion which players affected by Reshape Life must interrupt. Those same players must also interrupt themselves from casting their own Amber Explosion. If either of those interrupts are missed, be prepared for a lot of damage to go out. These explosions are good times to use healing cooldowns.

The third phase will occur after the Amber Monstrosity dies. Un’sok will stop using Amber Scalpel and therefore will stop summoning Living Ambers, but Reshape Life and Parasitic Growth will continue. This phase becomes a stack and burn phase, so there is a higher chance of Parasite targets dying if they stand with the group and take large amounts of AoE healing. If you’re running EF, just take this phase to continue blanketing as well as possible. If you decide to run a non-EF build, this is the time to chain as much LoD as you can.

Grand Empress Shek’zeer

Healers: 6
Tanks: 2
Talent Changes: Possibly EF/DP

This fight includes phases with a lot of raid damage, both in burst and constant form.

The first phase centers around Empress’s Dissonance Field and Cry of Terror abilities, but Dread Screech is also present throughout the phase. This phase is completely about controlling the Dissonance Field eruptions. If both go down simultaneously the damage is going to kill some people. Being smart about Cry also negates a lot of the damage that ability deals. Either way, be ready to heal through both the high constant damage of Cry and the burst behind Dissonance. If you’re running EF just have as many HoTs up as possible, and if you’re not you need to have HP ready to toss as many LoD as you can quickly after a Dissonance field goes off.

Phase two has multiple adds that deal a strong amount of damage and have the Band of Valor ability that will make that damage incredible if too many are allowed near each other. Set’thik Windblade do some moderate raid damage through Dispatch and Sticky Resin. The damage isn’t incredibly high, but your raid will be spread out so HR wont be very effective for dealing with raid damage. The other adds, Kor’thik Reaver, will do a large amount of tank damage and some raid damage through Poison Bomb. Be very careful of your tanks through this phase. The damage they’re taking can be very burst based on how many adds are near each other and its easy to get out of range of them while running around.

The last phase of the fight is a burn phase on Empress that introduces Sha EnergyCalamityConsuming TerrorAmassing Darkness, and Visions of Demise. If people are quick about avoiding the cone, Consuming should never hit anyone. Be prepared to dispel people if your raid fails at this mechanic though. Visions is another ability that needs to be dispelled. My raid handled this by having a stack point slightly off the boss where people with Visions would run to. This allowed our priests to use Mass Dispel as soon as the ability went off and avoided most of the damage. Sha Energy and Amassing Darkness are unavoidable and give this phase a very high healing requirement. That in combination with Calamity are a throwback to healing through Anub’arak back in ToC. Again, if you’re running EF just keep spreading Hots as much as possible here. Otherwise make sure that you keep your AoE healing rolling with LoD and HR.

There are only a few changes that came with the patch, so this wont be a huge post. I do want to touch on the things that have changed though.

  • Light of Dawn healing has been increased by 5%.
  • Holy Prism will now always Heal the 5 closest allies with the lowest health.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Illuminated Healing to apply absorption shields when no healing was generated.
  • This wasn’t in the patch notes, but the Holy Paladin PvP 4 Piece no longer provides 1 Holy Power when a heal is cast from a Divine Purpose proc.

The changes to Light of Dawn and Holy Prism are just buffs. Light of Dawn hasn’t been a very attractive spell with the huge output that has been provided by Eternal Flame, so having it buffed is going to make AoE healing a bit nicer. I haven’t raided yet this week, but I’m also going to assume that our burst AoE healing is going to see a decent buff due to the LoD change. For burst healing situations Holy Prism being a smart heal may also be very nice. I haven’t actually used it for raiding since I started Heroic modes, but I may try to find some uses for it now.

I’m actually not sure what the Illuminated Healing change is due to. I haven’t heard anything where this bug had come up. If I do come across why this change was implemented I will update just to have the information be clear.

PvP 4 Piece Nerf

I just want to start by saying that of course Blizzard nerfs this once I actually sit down to write a post about it. Thanks, jerks.

So the change hasn’t affected the general style of play that became popular with using Eternal Flame in conjunction with the PvP 4 Piece to “EF Blanket” your raid. That can still be done in a fairly effective manner. What the change did do is decrease the effectiveness that this had in combination with Divine Purpose. Before the change, you could get a few DP procs in a row and have 5 HP ready to roll as soon as you ran out of procs. It made for a lot of EFs going out in conjunction and a huge part of what made this healing strategy so powerful. The change simply makes it so that DP procs no longer provide you with that 1 Holy Power. The DP procs themselves can still be used for the EFs, but you wont have your 5 Holy Power waiting to be used up after they’re gone.

As far as I can tell, this will make it so that the PvP 4 Piece becomes quite a bit weaker. It will definitely continue to be strong on fights like Garalon and Elegon with phases of constant raid wide damage, but in other situations I believe that the PvE 4 Piece will definitely out do it. The stat loss of taking the PvP gear was always an issue, but the sheer amount of Holy Power you could create made up for it. I am now sure that if you can get the 4 Piece PvE bonus with 496 gear that the PvP gear wont be worth the trouble.

Item Upgrades

One last thing I want to mention is the item upgrade system that has been implemented with the patch.

You can now upgrade pieces of gear up to 8 item levels and gain the appropriate stats to match the higher item levels. Based on what I’ve seen, it seems that the best order of upgrades is going to be:

Weapon> Trinkets> Chest/Helm/Legs (Higher stat allocations) > Other armor slots > Rings/Neck/Cloak

I’m personally going to start with my trinkets as I’m waiting to get a Sha touched weapon to upgrade. Since our BiS trinkets come from Heroic Will and Heroic Tsulong, Ill likely upgrade my DMC trinket first and then wait to get a Sha Touched weapon or until I cap again.

First of all, I want to apologize for it being so long since my last post. I’ve been dealing with a lot recently that kept me from writing new blog posts. First of all, I moved back to my old guild Static on Arthas. This means I’m once again Horde and will be writing from the perspective of 25 man raids, but hopefully they can translate to ten man raiding as well. I’ve also had some health issues that have kind of taken over my life, but they’re mostly in check now. I have my finals coming up for school soon as well, but I really enjoy writing so I hope that they don’t interfere with my writing blog posts at all. I hope to get back to posting something relevant to do with Holy Paladins or raiding at least every other week, so without further postponement lets talk about EF.

 

Anyone who keeps up with healing forums has by now heard about EF blanketing, but regardless I want to give a quick explanation of the concept and how it works in practice.
Eternal Flame is a talent that adds a 30 second Heal over Time component to our Word of Glory. When this talent is taken in combination with Divine Purpose the opportunity is opened up to have  quite a few of the HoTs up on your raid. This alone wouldn’t lead to a reliable healing strategy, but it has become common practice to take these two talents in combination with our PvP Four Piece Bonus.  The bonus applies to EF, so that every time EF is cast you will gain 1 extra Holy Power. This combined with using almost entirely spells that generate Holy Power (Holy Shock, Crusader Strike, Holy Radiance) leads to a huge amount of Holy Power generation. All of these components working together evolve into a mad dash for Holy Power to fish for Divine Purpose procs. Once you get the ball rolling on EF, it just doesn’t seem to stop. It is very possible to have upwards of 10 EFs up at a time, and that combined with Illuminated Healing and Beacon account for outrageous amounts of throughput.

 

Normal Garalon Healing log

The above log is the result of my putting this healing strategy into practice on Normal 25 player Garalon. Not to say that I’m the best or even incredibly good by any standards, but I did use the EF Blaketing strategy as best I could. Also note that this fight, with constant damage on the entire raid throughout the whole encounter, is how this kind of strategy best shines. The majority of the healing from each EF doesn’t go towards overhealing and the Mastery provided by each is also used up.

My healing per Spell for Normal Garalon

This picture also breaks down how much healing was contributed from each individual spell. Eternal Flame is clearly far and above everything else, and the healing it provides also leads to Mastery and Beacon coming in at second and third over all healing. This is due to the fact that the damage going out leaving room for EF to heal, but it is definitely as strong in other situations. One other thing I want to point out about the above log break down is not something doing a significant amount, but a lack of something. I casted a grand total of 0 Holy Lights, Divine Lights, or Flash of Lights. With this strategy is actually comes down to a waste to use mana on anything other than more Holy Power for more EF. Holy Radiance can be used because the spell is still very strong, but in a situation where you don’t have at least 3 people clustered together even that can be wasteful. If EF is used properly it can dispense very powerful heals to individuals through its direct heal, and the HoT can spread reasonable healing and mastery bubbles throughout the raid.

The healing it does through Beacon is also incredible with a large number of EFs out. Based on the above numbers, lets assume that each EF ticks for an average of 6900. Beacon will transfer half of that, so that leads to the 3500 healing transferred to the Beacon target every 3 seconds for each HoT out. Giving ourselves some leeway here, lets assume that you can only get 5 EFs up at a time. That will provide about 17500 healing to the Beacon every 3 seconds. Now if we say that you have ten EFs up throughout the raid (For a decent number that is available in both raid difficulties), you will be doing 35000 healing through to your beacon target through EF ticks alone. The sheer amount of throughput provided is the powerhouse of this strategy, and it sure bring a lot of it.

There are some clear procs and cons to this strategy, and I want to list them partially so that I’m sure of what I want to touch on.

Pros

  •  This healing strategy provides massive amounts of throughput and raid healing that no other strategy can for Holy Paladins.
  • Because of focusing on use of Holy Shock and Crusader Strike, this strategy is extremely mana efficient.
  • A huge amount of raid healing is coupled with a decent amount of tank healing through Beacon.
  • It is possible to maintain this healing style while on the move.
  • Possibility for huge amounts of healing if you get a lucky string of Divine Purpose procs.

Cons

  • Because of use of lower item level gear to maintain the PvP four piece our stats take a hit.
  • Our healing can be incredibly unreliable because of how proc dependent the strategy is.
  • Lack of burst healing capabilities.
  • Forces you into a box of maintaining EFs to stay competitive and therefore relies on having other healers pick up the slack with spot healing and tank healing.
  • There are other classes who have this niche cut out for them and can’t easily fill the role we leave open by taking theirs. To add to this, we are the class that best fits the niche of tank healers.

I think I’ve talked about the pros enough while breaking down the strategy, so I want to discuss the cons in a little more detail.

This style of healing forces us to keep EF rolling as much as possible to keep the throughput as high as possible. If you try to run this style and use Holy Light or spot heal, you will not massively gimp your healing. Your spot healing is already worse due to the loss of Intellect and secondary stats required to have the four piece bonus, so trying to maximize any spot healing strategy with this set up is extremely sub-optimal. You absolutely need to focus on Holy Power generation to get out more EFs. That leads to being stuck as an EF raid healing machine. You can’t successfully do much else than what the strategy is built for, which also requires you to have fellow healers who can back up what you’re doing. If you’re a ten man healer and healing alongside only a Resto druid, chances are this wont be the best of strategies. You might be better at this type of healing currently due to Resto druid’s place, but you’re also able to fit another niche much better than they can. It is definitely a powerful strategy to use, but just because you can put out huge numbers doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use the strategy.

The issue of being shoehorned into raid healing constantly and forcing the other healers in your group to focus on spot heals is the major concern I have with this style, but the unreliability is also a huge issue. If a huge amount of damage goes out and you don’t have a string of DP procs, you’re forced to rely on either HR spam or DL which absolutely kills your mana. You might end up being lucky enough to already have a few EFs up on the right people to make up for the lack of burst, but if you don’t you’re left praying for DP to give you what you need.

All in all this healing strategy is an extremely powerful tool that all paladins should be aware of. I don’t want to say that it’s the end all be all way to heal, but it is definitely something that everyone should be using on fights that warrant it. In the same manner I want to say that just because people are putting up huge numbers on logs doesn’t mean that you need to be running this to be successful.