Hello, my name is Wong. Vincent Wong. I have been playing WoW since late Vanilla. I have achieved multiple R1 titles and Gladiator on many different classes. I have R1 on Holy Paladin, Restoration Shaman, Restoration Druid, and Discipline Priest; and Gladiator on multiple DPS classes such as Warrior and Rogue. I was a competitor in the WoW North American Regionals 2015 playing Rshaman and Hpal. Outside of WoW, I am a graduate student working on a Masters in Education.
Note* I have tried to put as much scaffolding in this guide as possible for newer players. I believe this guide can help players ranging from some of the top-tier to the newer players who started PvP recently!
Also I never checked this guide for grammar issues, so please ignore any grammar typos
For more clarification or questions, feel free to check out and follow my stream, www.twitch.tv/Vincentwong1
I am available to answer questions through there or here!
6.2.3 Holy Paladin Guide
In patch 6.2.3, the game isn’t very much different from 6.2. However, there was a change in ‘Meta—FOTM (Flavor of the Month)’ compositions being played. Melee cleaves are significantly stronger, such as Death Knight/Wind Walker (DK/WW), DK/Feral Druid, Turbo (Warrior/Enhancement Shaman). As such, you’re likely to fight more melee compositions especially at higher ratings. Being trained by melee have been noted as “extremely difficult” by many holy paladins, but I am going to try and explain some strategies for it later in this guide.
This patch as of week 3, feels very melee cleave heavy.
Speed of Light or Pursuit of Justice
I generally play with Pursuit of Justice, on certain occasions I would play Speed of Light. Why? Because Pursuit of Justice is amazing versus purge teams that might swap to you, and speed of light’s effectiveness has been hindered since the denounce stacking buff nerf—3 stacks of dispel protection to 1. Speed of Light is really good for when you know you won’t be trained or swapped to, it is potent to get a quick HoJ—Hammer or Fist of Justice off for your team when you need the mobility. I can find this useful when playing Hpal/Mage/Spriest or other Hpal/Mage/x varieties of composition. Also Speed of Light is off GCD—Global Cool Down as in you can press this and another ability at the same time!
Long Arm of the Law…this has a global cooldown as such it is outclassed by Speed of Light and Pursuit of Justice for Holy Paladins because casting Judgement doesn’t provide any good benefits.
Fist of Justice or Repentance or Blinding Light
In general, Fist of Justice. Repentance and Blinding Light can be useful when your team needs the extra CC—Crowd Control. However, Fist of Justice is a lot easier to use and set up. Repentance and Blinding Light both break on any damage on your target so it is not useful when playing with classes that hit multiple targets such as warlocks, DKs, or warriors.
Selfless Healer or Eternal Flame or Sacred Shield
Usually Sacred Shield, there are some situations where selfless healer is better. However Sacred Shield is a lot easier to use. And most importantly, it is not mostly cannot be dispelled. As such if you ever look at recount after matches, it is roughly 25% of your healing against AoE teams such as cleaves or warlocks, and 18% of your healing on strong single target and CC teams such as RMD—Rogue Mage Druid.
Selfless Healer can be very good when you need to manage mana and … wanting to play around. Here is a macro,
You can use this macro as part of your healing rotation without losing your healing target. However, I still recommend using Sacred Shield over Selfless healer but Selfless healer is more mana efficient. And keep in mind the Selfless healer buff can be dispelled so don’t use it vs teams that will train you and dispel you.
Eternal Flame is outclassed by Sacred Shield and Selfless healer.
Clemency or Unbreakable Spirit or Hand of Purity
Clemency vs Rogues or match ups with multiple physical stuns and Warrior Fear; also vs Melee, this is probably a default talent
Unbreakable Spirit: vs Mages or Wizards where BoP/Sac is near useless
Hand of Purity vs high DoT teams with unreliable purge such as Hpal Jungle- Feral/Hunter/Hpal
Sanctified Wrath or Divine Purpose or Holy Avenger
Sanctified Wrath is a lot easier to use and outclasses Divine Purpose and Holy Avenger in the current state of the game. It is better to have a stronger healing CD on a low CD than Divine Purpose’s RNG consistent healing and Holy Avengers CD management.
Holy Prism or Execution Sentence
Both are good. However, ES is a lot easier to use and better to manage with. Having that Big Instant Heal coming out of a CC or when you fall behind is nice. When fighting both cleave teams and single target control teams. You can put beacon on one target and ES a different target to get an extra 50% of its effect!
Saved by the Light or Beacon of Faith or Beacon of Insight
Saved by the Light is generally preferred. Because it can be a “not randomly killed” cooldown, however, keep in mind that some abilities that do over 30% of your life bar can still kill you such as a Dark Soul Chaos Bolt. It can save a lot of games when you’re in crowd control to prevent using another cooldown. As such, it is particularly important to watch this CD and not overlap the proc shield with another CD such as Divine Shield. I have seen many mediocre holy paladins divine shield as soon as they gain the shield. If you know you have to divine shield shortly after the shield proc, just use divine shield to save it.
Beacon of Faith can be good versus not burst but high consistent rot damage such as most warlock compositions. However, do keep in mind, a lot of holy paladins who are fond of saved by the light, randomly die without it. So keep this in mind, your teammates and you might die a few times. I have played with people who are so use to Saved by the light that they die randomly.
Beacon of Insight is outclassed by Saved by the Light and Beacon of Faith.
Glyphs: In bold are the standard default glyphs.
Beacon of Light- Removing the GCD on Beacon of Light basically allows you to cast one extra spell after using Beacon of Light. Highly recommend versus teams that like to cleave and swap a lot.
Glyph of Denounce- Even after the nerf to the dispel stacks; this is still really good for when you’re being trained. The dispel protection is amazing for protecting your freedom and shooting instant denounce is really good for when you’re being trained as well. Denouncing a target “steals” their critical strike chance for 4 seconds from them and 12 seconds on you with your 2 pc PvP Bonus. Very Standard and recommended glyph.
Glyph of Merciful Wrath- Cuts the effectiveness and cooldown of Avenging Wrath in Half, this is for often used because 3 minute Avenging Wrath is too powerful. Many Holy Paladins finds 1.5 minute Avenging Wrath enough to keep up their teammates, as such this glyph is often used. However, if you find yourself not able to get to the next Avenging Wrath cooldown in certain arena match ups, I recommend playing 3 minute Avenging Wrath.
Glyph of Hand of Freedom- Freedom on a target before they get triple stunned such as versus Rogues and Ferals, is very effective. Use this versus Rogues and Ferals before they stun or right as they stun your teammate or you.
Glyph of Cleanse- Use this versus Mages or Warlocks where they like to spam CC.
Glyph of Flash of Light- This can be useful for strong single target healing.
This is just my opinion; I think stat priority is mainly preference. If you play Holy Paladin/Mage/X, I actually believe haste stacking is the best stat. However, this stat priority I believe is better for
Why not full haste for melee cleave? Because at 50% haste your flash of lights is at 1 second, Avenging Wrath with Merciful Wrath gives 10% haste and 20% without Merciful Wrath. Infusion of Light gives you 10% passive haste. Holy Paladins generally stack haste to cast Flash of Lights and have more global cool downs. However, the global cooldown cannot go down 1 second. So any haste you have 50% is a waste. So let’s say you have 50% haste inside arena, with just 5% haste buff. That means the haste you’d get from Mark of Warsong weapon enchant and Avenging Wrath will not lower your global cooldown. Although your flash of light casts can go lower than 1 second… your character itself cannot do anything until the 1 second global cooldown is off.
I prioritize Versatility as my main stat because Holy paladins will get focused a lot. As such, the damage reduction and increased healing/damage is very valuable.
Crit is good because of Infusion of Light. Despite Crit being cut in half in PvP. Every time you get an infusion of light proc, you do 50% more flash of light healing or a faster Divine Light. Generally, holy paladins do not cast divine light without Infusion of Light. As such, Crit can save you mana while haste will allow you to cast more at the cost of spending more mana. Both haste and Crit will increase your HPS. Infusion also allows you to juke easier which can be extremely helpful versus teams with a lot of interrupts.
A balance between Crit and Haste after prioritizing versatility is the best stat weight.
Having a reliable target to denounce and maintain Crit is random at times. As such, don’t rely on always keeping up a denounce buff.
Why Multi-Strike weapon enchant? Because when you're soft capped on haste and crit in the current gear, multi-strike becomes the next best weapon enchant. Why multi-strike over mastery? Download and look at recount and see how much healing sacred shield does in a match. Here is a scenario which multi-strike will be favored over mastery. If you get a weapon enchant proc, sacred shield consistently will keep healing while you're CCed which benefits from multi-strike while mastery does not. Mastery could likely be better if you play vs something you can sit there and cast flash of light and FoL ends up as your highest healing in the match.
Role in Arena
Commonly used Terms for PvP:
CC- Crowd Control: loss of character control effects such as stuns, polymorph, fear, or interrupts
PvE- Player vs Environment: commonly used to describe maximizing damage or healing done
Comp: Composition of classes used to make a team
Synergy: classes that go well together, highly benefits each other through providing buffs—more damage or covering weaknesses
‘Set-up’: Crowd controlling one or more enemy players in order to kill another
Pushed-up: Moving character mid-field or into opposing team’s starting area, generally to CC or do damage
As a Holy Paladin, you can do many things. As such, haste is a very strong stat. You should always be trying to do something.
To be successful in arena is a combination of PvEing—maximizing global cooldown usage outside of CC to maximize damage or healing done and Coordination—managing cooldowns effectively and crowd controlling properly.
Although some comps are more about one than the other. For example, Rogue Mage Druid is more Crowd Control based and Warrior Lock Shaman is more PvE based.
Most of the time on your Holy paladin, you’ll be either crowd controlled or healing. There will be time where you will also help your team ‘set-up’ a kill. This generally means using Hammer/Fist of Justice on a target or maybe even denouncing a target for extra damage to ensure a kill. Don’t forget, you also have a kick for those pesky healers too!
Perhaps the most important aspect that even some of the top players struggle with sometimes on their Hpals is cooldown management.
Cooldown management is the proper use and rotation of cooldowns. For example;
Enemy Warlock uses Dark Soul, this is a 2min damage cooldown. And Enemy Warrior uses recklessness which has a base cooldown of 3minutes. A general proper response to this is use Avenging Wrath to do additional healing when the enemy is doing additional damage.
As you learn and master cooldown management, this allows you to have a procedure/routine for certain match-ups. For example;
Me: DK/Feral/Hpal vs Sub Rogue Mage Druid
My team will generally have a procedure/routine we are prepared to do when we see the match up before the game actually starts.
Rogue: opens on Feral, 3 Cheap Shots- stuns/ uses shadow dance—damage cooldown
Mage: Deep Freezes>Polymorphs me/ uses Frozen Orb and Ice Novas—damage cooldown
Me: Divine Shield the Deep Freeze>Polymorph, Avenging Wrath and start healing
RDruid: see’s I used major defensives and cannot be CCed, as such Druid pushes up and begins to cyclone Feral
Death Knight: sees Druid pushed up, immediately death-grip’s druid on cast to prevent Cyclone
Feral: Coming out of Stuns, my feral uses his damage cooldown and stun’s druid since he was gripped.
Me: HoJ Rogue to stop him from CCing my team
DK: uses Lichborn to avoid being CCed by Mage
Feral: cannot be polymorphed by mage, as such 3v1 on the opposing RDruid.
Rdruid: has to use defensives, Trinket stun and displacer
Feral: Wild Charges and RDruid uses Barkskin as well
Me: If I see rogue blind my feral to CC him, I hand of protection the Blind.
RDruid: has no defensives for a minute, next stun which is in 30 seconds—off diminishing return and deathgrip CD, the Rdruid has a good chance of dying.
Once you establish a routine/procedure for match ups, you will go in the arena match knowing what to do and expect already. As such, this will allow you to maximize your usage of free global cooldowns. The more you can do in an arena match, the more successful your team will be!
Having a routine/procedure also applies for surviving on your Hpal too! In fact, it is very important. I often get commented on how I can survive longer than most Hpals in ‘healer trade’ match ups. In which 2 dps on a healer and try to race the other team to score a kill. This is because, I have a routine/procedure ready before the match even starts!
For example, in a DK/WW/Hpal mirror match-up;
Dk and WW runs at me.
Enemy DK/WW: Leg sweeps and uses damage cooldowns
Me: Hand of Protection myself out of the stun, cleanse DoTs and run around a pillar, when my health is low enough, I use 3 minute Avenging Wrath
Note: Although I have forbearance, with 3 minute Avenging Wrath, Aura Mastery, Saved by the Light, and Divine Protection available, I will very likely not die until I can use divine shield
Enemy DK/WW: uses strangulate
Me: Aura Mastery
Enemy DK/WW: Paralysis me on my aura mastery, the trade-off: sit the strangulate and possibly die during their damage cooldowns or sit at whatever health percentage I was when I used aura mastery.
This is just a sample routine/procedure I have for one of many mirror Dk/WW match up situations. There are many different match-up situations possible; you will learn how to react in these situations through practice or ask for help if you’re struggling, your teammates and higher rated players can be a great resource!
To be successful in Arena
Play a ‘good’ comp
Fortunately, holy paladins have some of the most comps to play that are good right now. Such as
Mage/Hpal/(insert high single target damage class here)-i.e feral, rogue, boomy, Fury Warrior, etc.
and more! – you can even create your own comp!
Note: There are always composition set ups that might be extremely good if played right, you just need to find it! For example, nobody knew Arcane Mage/Hpal/Assassination Rogue was extremely good in WoD S2 until Babymichael played it towards the end of the season! There wasn’t even any changes to classes, just nobody tried the comp out!
What makes a ‘good’ comp?
Certain classes have extremely good synergy such as;
• Death Knights and Hpal are good because a Dk’s top damage stat is Mastery. And Hpal’s best stat is Haste/Vers.
• DK’s have to give up strangulate in order to get a stun, but if their partner has a stun then the DK can use strangulate! Hpal is the one healer class with a reliable long stun on a 6 second CD!
• Dk’s weakness is mobility, hpal’s have freedom.
• DKs lack defensive utility for their teammates, Hpals have the most defensive utility in the game
• Hpal’s greatness weakness is sitting in CC, Dk’s have the strongest self-healing in the game through Death Siphon
• Mages give spell power and crit which are extremely beneficial for a Hpal
• They both have a 30 second stun as such, Deep freezing target A and HoJ on target B allows for a set up every 30 seconds.
• A mage’s weakness can be sometimes they die without blocking, Saved by the Light is an additional warning for the mage
• Hpal’s can do extra damage on the mages kill target in order to secure a kill
Mixing up classes that go well together are extremely important in a comp. There are some classes that don’t go well together and likely harm each other such as;
• DKs use necrotic plague as one of their top damage abilities, this randomly spreads and can break polymorphs and Mages rely on polymorph set ups to secure a kill for their team.
There are also classes that harm each other more than benefit each other such as;
• Polymorph and Trap share DR
As such, it is extremely important to pick out classes that will support in each in an arena game and not harm one another.
Another key to success is relationships- play with friends! or make some...
WoW 3v3 is a team game. No matter how talented you are individually such as in duels, your success will be hindered (doesn't mean you can't be successful but does mean it is harder) if you can’t play well with others. As such communication is key. And communication is a lot easier when you are comfortable with your teammates. Communication is needed to set-up offensive cooldowns and CC. Along with managing defensive cooldowns. It also allows you to reflect upon your matches more easily.
Reflecting after each arena match to think about what went well and what went wrong is something that helps you progress. And you can’t do this if you’re scared of your teammate or afraid he may yell at you. It helps to reflect after a match by yourself, but to reflect as a team is key.
As such, making friends on WoW is important because not only does it make the game more fun it also helps you progress in the competitive scene. Progressing as a team is important too. I have met a wide range of people throughout my time on WoW ranging from doctors and lawyers to a quiet troll 15 year old troll who lied to me about his name and a bunch of other things up until I met him at regionals.
Note* if you call out what you did wrong first, your teammates will likely follow!
Playing WoW with friends is important. Playing with people you can talk to easier or just like you as a person/friend makes progressing in arena better. Figure out where you overlapped defensives or where you misused offensive cooldowns—using a damage CD when enemy already has a defensive used.
Q: What is a Hpal’s healing rotation in arena?
A: Holy Shock if enemy team can interrupt you if you cast. Your highest single target HPS outside of Avenging Wrath is to cast Flash of Light on a target with Sacred shield and Glyph of FoL/Beacon perk.
Q: How do I find more teammates? I can’t see to find people I like playing with…
A: Look around community areas such as forums, meet your teammate’s friends and their friends! Finding teammates is like finding friends, you find them everywhere!
Q: I want to play with some people that already have a usual teammate that is the same role as me…
A: Something you can try if you’d like, increase your playtime/availability. I found this to be the most successful thing. Often times, players will get bored waiting around for their normal teammates and just play with the next best thing! If this doesn’t work, try persuading them to play with you.
For more questions, please write a comment or rate this guide!
Also don't forget to check out or follow my stream if you want to ask when I am online!
More to be added soon
Edited by Absolutely, 09 December 2015 - 09:44 AM.