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With the release of the World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm, there have been numerous class changes. Holy Paladins have been affected by these changes in a positive way. The addition of the Holy Power system, along with a host of new spells and abilities can make the Holy Paladin a bit confusing. These changes also make the Holy Paladin one of the most powerful single target, tank healers in the game. The Holy Paladin is not a solo class. That said, this guide will center around maximizing your healing in a group setting. Whether you decide to join a party exploring a dungeon or one defending its borders, you will be ready to keep your teammates alive and well.
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BUILDING HOLY POWER
The Holy Paladin now relies on a new game mechanic called Holy Power. You can monitor your Holy Power charges on the new bar
below your characters health and mana. A Paladin begins being able to generate Holy Power at level 9. You can build up to three charges through three different methods, and then have two basic healing skills through which you can release this power. Building Holy Power is accomplished through Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, or Blessed Life.
Crusader Strike, is our basic attack which we receive at level 1. It strikes one target and every time you successfully hit with this attack you build one charge of Holy Power. The only drawback is that if you are using this you are in the heat of the battle.
Holy Shock, is a spell which will build Holy Power. When cast on an enemy it causes damage. When cast on a friend it heals them. Every time it is cast you gain one charge of Holy Power.
Blessed Life is the last method by which a Holy Paladin builds Holy Power. Every time you take damage (no more than once every 8 seconds) you build a charge of Holy Power. Another example of the Paladin being considered a battle healer. While in my sample spec I don't place any points into this, you may find it useful to do so.
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USING HOLY POWER
heal is Word of Glory, which is baseline for all Paladins. The second heal is Light of Dawn, a very powerful mass heal available only to Holy Paladins.
Word of Glory is learned at your trainer at level 9, though you need to reach level 10 to be able to generate Holy Power and begin using it. This heal scales with each charge of Holy Power, becoming more powerful as the number of charges increase. This heal can be used on you or another.
Light of Dawn is the pinnacle of the Holy tree. It is a mass selective heal. When cast it sends out a heal in a cone shape in front of us healing all friendly targets based upon need. It will heal a maximum of 5 targets (6 for us because we will glyph it). So, basically a large scale heal that heals those who need it most.
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The following is the best spec for your Holy Paladin while leveling. It maximizes your healing abilities to ensure the survival of you and your group. It centers around buffing your healing abilities. Allowing you maximum healing abilities that will excel at healing single targets or the group as a whole. You can start selecting your talents at level 10.
- 10-13 Protector of the Innocent
- 15-19 Judgements of the Pure
- 21 Last Word
- 23-27 Clarity of Purpose
- 29 Divine Favor
- 31-33 Infusion of Light
- 35-37 Daybreak
- 39 Beacon of Light
- 41 Sacred Cleansing
- 43-47 Speed of Light
- 49 Aura Mastery
- 51 Enlightened Judgements
- 53-57 Conviction
- 59-61 Paragon of Virtue
- 63-67 Tower of Radiance
- 69 Light of Dawn
- 71-75 Divinity
- 77-81 Crusade
- 82-83 Improved Judgements
- 84-85 Eternal Glory
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These are our single target heals and the staple of Paladin healing. You will rely on these for much of your healing duties.
- Holy Light - This is the first heal you'll receive. Learned at level 14 this is a small heal with low mana cost.
- Flash of Light - This is our next heal which we pick up at level 19. A larger heal that brings with it a substantial mana cost.
- Divine Light - This is not received until level 62. It is a VERY large heal with just as large a mana cost. Draining 30% of your mana per cast it should only be used during periods of heavy damage.
- Holy Shock - This is out special Holy skill. It is a small heal/mana but it builds a charge of Holy Power when cast.
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HOLY POWER HEALS
- Word of Glory - This is Holy Power heal that all Paladins get. With our increased healing abilities it is even stronger for us. This heal can be a life saver even at higher levels.
- Light of Dawn - This is our top talent in the Holy tree. Light of Dawn is a selective heal. It uses Holy Power to send out a mass heal in a cone shape to the front of the Paladin. It selects the 5 most injured parties and heals them.
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MISCELLANEOUS HEALS - These are other ways to heal that don't fall into the above classifications.
- Beacon of Light - This is a type of buff you place on a party member. Whenever you cast a heal of any type on another person the target of your Beacon of light is healed for half the amount. A very handy spell!
- Holy Radiance - This is our one and only HoT spell. When cast the spell pulses a heal every second for 10 seconds. All friendly targets within the radius of the spell receive the heal. The nice part is the radius is centered on the Paladin and moves with him for the entire 10 seconds.
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- Righteous Fury - Unlike a tank, we do NOT want threat. Do NOT use this buff.
- Blessing of Kings - This should always be your first choice for self/party buff.
- Blessing of Might - Use instead of Kings if you have another Paladin or a Druid in your party.
- Seal of Insight - This is our seal of choice. When glyphed it gives us a 5% bonus to healing when active and when we Judge we regain mana, both incredibly useful abilities. Also, our Judgements will be granting haste through our holy spec (Judgements of the Pure).
- Concentration Aura - Use this Aura when needed. Through Aura Mastery, it makes us immune to Silence and Interrupts.
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The Glyph system has been changed in Cataclysm. You now have three glyph choices: Prime, Major and Minor. You can select one of each at levels 25, 50 and 75 for a total of nine glyphs. For leveling we want to ensure your maximized healing while still maintaining mana conservation. These glyphs selected will help you do both. Once you reach 85 you will change your glyphs for raiding. With that said, while leveling your glyphs will be:
- Prime - Holy Shock
- Major - Lay on Hands
- Minor - Blessing of Kings
- Prime - Seal of Insight
- Major - Cleansing
- Minor - Insight
- Prime - Divine Favor
- Major - Light of Dawn
- Minor - Blessing of Might
- Level 25
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- Intellect - the most important stat for any caster. It will increase your mana, spell power, and crit chance (with spells).
- Spell Power - secondary only to Intellect.
- Spell Crit - allows our heals and damaging spells to critical hit.
- Haste - This allows us to cast faster
- Spirit - This allows us to regenerate mana both out of combat and (50%) in combat.
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- Any weapon with Intellect or spell power. Whether you take a two handed staff or a one handed weapon and an off hand item doesn't matter.
- Take whatever gives you the most Intellect or spell power total.If you can afford any enchants, scrolls or potions that buff your Intellect use them.
- Don't buy gear from the Auction House. Between quest rewards and dungeon drop/rewards you will have all that you need. Honestly as fast as leveling is now in World of Warcraft you'll be burning through equipment.
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The basics here should make leveling your Holy Paladin an enjoyable experience. This class is very group oriented. Without a good healer a group cannot survive. By following this guide you will be able to keep your party, and yourself, alive and in fighting shape. Integrate these new changes to make your World of Warcraft Paladin one of the most well rounded and respected healers in the game.