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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.