I’m Kina and welcome to my Holy Paladin guide for Shadowlands. I’ve raided at the top level since the end of Warlords of Draenor and I’m excited to share with you my insight into changes that Holy Paladins are receiving in Shadowlands.
For 9.2, Sepulcher of the First Ones, Bryanz exclusively played Paladin while Kina swapped off the spec. The following 9.2 updates are from his experience with the tier. I hope you enjoy it!
What has changed
Season 4 changes for Holy Paladin
None! With season 4 your focus is on gearing through fishing for specific Mythic+ items and praying for good luck on your weapon token drop during Fated Castle Nathria.
Season 4 Items:
Puzzling Cartel Dinar is a new currency, gated behind the Crossing Fate questline rewarding a Puzzling Cartel Dinar for every 30 fated raid boss kills. This currency (maxing out at 3 per character) is used to purchase raid items from vendors in Oribos.
Fated raid items can be upgraded with Cosmic Creation Impetus (to Heroic item level) or Sacred Creation Impetus (to Mythic item level) after having collected 20 cyphers from the respective difficulty to craft the item level upgrade of that difficulty it was collected from.
Season 4 gear item level by difficulty:
- Raid Finder (265 - 272)
- Normal (278 - 285)
- Heroic (291 - 297)
- Mythic (304 - 311)
Holy Paladin Season 4 Gear Recommendations
With the availability of new gear through Fated Raids and the new Mythic+ dungeons, I have put some recommendations in the Gear Section of the guide.
9.2 Changes for Holy paladins
- All healing abilities increased by 6%
- Holy Shock, Hammer of Wrath, and Ashen Hallow have had their damage reduced by 12%
- Avenging Wrath (Rank 3) has been removed. Reducing our baseline amplification to damage, healing, and crit chance back down to 20%.
- Ashen Hallow can now be canceled early by pressing its button again.
- Radiant Embers (Venthyr Runecarving Power) now increases Ashen Hallow’s duration by 50% (to 45 seconds). Canceling your Ashen Hallow early will reduce its cooldown by up to 50%, proportional to its remaining duration.
- If you’re playing Necrolord, Plague Deviser Marileth is your recommended soulbind
9.1.5 Changes for Holy paladins:
Vanquisher's Hammer (Necrolord Ability) now increases the effectiveness of the free Holy Power spender by 25%. A healthy boost is inconsistent throughout for Necrolords but not enough to change the meta right now due to the covenant's design flaws not being addressed meaningfully.
Righteous Might (Necrolord Conduit) damage effect increased by 400%, and healing effect reduced by 50%. At item level 252, this conduit will go from buffing Vanquisher's Hammer by 36% to 180%. While this is a considerable boost to its damage, the increase will most likely be more relevant for PvP than PvE with Ashen Hallow in its current state.
Blessing of Seasons (Night Fae Ability): Blessing of Spring now increases healing done by 15% (was 10%) and healing received by 30% (was 20%). Blessing of Winter now reduces the hostile target's attack speed, and movement speed by 5% per stack (was 3%), and its damage has been increased by 40%. It is a welcome buff to the worst parts of Blessing of Seasons, but it remains a niche covenant ability that synergizes well with the 9.1 legendary; Seasons of Plenty. While making Night Fae Holy Paladin's niche stronger, it won't upset the overall meta of the spec for now.
9.1 Changes for Holy paladins TL:DR
- Venthyr is still your best covenant choice for top tier progression raiding. If you do not participate in that kind of content, Kyrian is your go-to Covenant.
- You will have to re-craft legendaries that overlap with Domination socket items.
- Shock Barrier is still BiS for Holy Paladins and should be recrafted/upgraded in your leg slot.
- Maraad’s Dying Breath is your 2nd best legendary to craft and becomes a mandatory legendary to have for the Painsmith, Guardian and Sylvanas encounters to efficiently spot heal. Be sure to change one of your potency slots to Untempered Dedication from Hallowed Discernment to significantly increase the Light of the Martyr’s throughput.
- Radiant Ember’s is a viable craft for Venthyr paladin’s on the back slot but you shouldn’t invest Soul Cinders (new legendary currency) into upgrading to rank 5 or 6 until after you’ve fully upgraded Shock Barrier.
- Kyrian paladin’s Divine Resonance requires manual targeting of friendlies/enemies to fire off its automatic Holy Shocks at each 5 second intervals and should be crafted in the waist slot.
- Holy paladin damage has been nerfed but doesn’t change your playstyle in any way.
- Crusader’s Might has been nerfed to 1.0 second cooldown reduction of Holy Shock per use down from 1.5 which somewhat invalidates the talent in progression raiding. Light’s Hammer is now your baseline pick especially when paired with Avenging Wrath. On mobile raid encounters, Bestow Faith can edge over as a superior choice for its holy power generation and small boost in throughput.
- The new conduit Adaptive Armor Fragment will be your go-to choice for your 3rd potency slot in your soulbinds.
- Theotar is still your BiS soulbind for Venthyr
- Kleia is still your BiS soulbind for Kyrian
- Stat Priorities: Haste > Versatility > Mastery>=Crit but still wear your highest ilvl pieces except for your necklace and ring slots if your lower item level pieces have leech.. NOTE: If you’re outgearing the content and/or not min-maxing dps then Haste > Mastery > Versatility > Crit.
Holy paladin damage is taking a hit in 9.1 with the spec receiving an 8% nerf to all damage output on top of Ashen Hallow, Judgement and Hammer of Wrath damage reduced by an additional 10%. Whilst these changes to tone down paladin damage output, this spec will continue to dominate other healers when it comes to passive damage output (only beaten by a good Kyrian Restoration Shamans) whilst preserving its status as the best burst healer dps in the game.
Paladin’s are also receiving some changes to their healing with Infusion of Light now granting Holy Light to generate 1 holy power (2 if used on your Beacon of Light; does not stack with inflorescence of the sunwell). Additionally, Flash of Light’s healing has been increased by 20% and Crusader Strike’s mana cost has increased to 11% of base mana from 9%.
These changes, in conjunction with the nerf to the Crusader’s Might talent going from 1.5 seconds of reduction on Holy Shock to 1, do not change your playstyle drastically. The level 15 talent row has become more interesting with Light’s Hammer being your go-to option for most fights; with it providing great on demand healing when paired up with Avenging Wrath. For more mobile fights, Bestow Faith is a competitive option which increases your holy power generation by 5 per minute whilst offering a small boost to your overall throughput.
New Covenant Legendaries:
Radiant Embers: is the new Venthyr covenant specific legendary in 9.1 that increases its duration and decreases it if you move out of your Ashen Hallow. This legendary has incredible potential with you being able to burst heal for 20 seconds every 155 seconds (2 minutes and 35 seconds) with moving out of hallow after your Avenging Wrath has expired or surpassed 20 seconds duration. Its biggest downside is that mechanics can ruin your burst window if you’re forced to move out of your Ashen Hallow earlier than you want, thus planning your cooldowns around timings of mechanics is even more important than ever when using this legendary.
In 9.2 Radiant Embers has been updated too; now increases Ashen Hallow’s duration by 50% (to 45 seconds). Canceling your Ashen Hallow early will reduce its cooldown by up to 50%, proportional to its remaining duration.
Divine Resonance: is the new Kyrian covenant specific legendary in 9.1 that automatically casts a holy shock every 5 seconds for 30 seconds after using Divine Toll. Currently the legendary only casts these additional Holy Shock’s if you’re targeting an enemy/friendly unit regardless of who you cast Divine Toll on. Thus the healing portion of this legendary will require you to manually target a friendly player before each 5 second interval to force the automatic Holy Shock to go on a friendly player and swapping between other injured friendly players will be required to triage heal with this legendary.
Seasons of Plenty: is the new Night-Fae covenant specific legendary in 9.1 that after 10 seconds of initial application, it boosts the effectiveness of the currently applied seasons buff by 100% for 10 seconds. Whilst this is an interesting legendary with potential for funny dps padding strategies using Blessing of Summer or Blessing of Autumn on dps, this won’t see any use for raid progression orientated Holy Paladins.
Duty-Bound Gavel: is the new Necrolord covenant specific legendary in 9.1 that simply gives your Vanquisher’s Hammer an additional charge and buffs the next two spenders (from its baseline of 1). The legendary is rather unimaginative but is a healthy boost to Necrolord Holy Paladin’s throughput should you decide to drop Shock Barrier for more on demand burst healing.
Inflorescence of the Sunwell now gives Holy Light a 30% chance to generate 2 Holy Power when it consumes Infusion of Light. Unfortunately this does not increase the viability of the legendary or the Holy Light spam build but rather nerfs it inadvertently due to removing the 60% increase to Holy Light’s throughput with Infusion of Light.
Shadowlands changes for paladins:
Aura’s have now returned!
Turn Evil: has returned and is currently a niche crowd control. Be wary of using this in dungeons as the crowd controlled mob will run away from where you applied Turn Evil, potentially pulling more mobs towards your group.
Every Paladin specialization has access to the following Holy Power spenders:
Crusader Strike now costs 9% base mana for every spec which equates to 900 mana at level 60.
Changes to Holy Paladins in Shadowlands
Holy Power is now an additional resource you need to manage and stacks up to 5.
The base cooldown of Holy Shock is now 7.5 seconds (down from 9). It generates 1 Holy Power and its cooldown reduction will continue to scale with haste.
Bestow Faith: now generates 1 holy power after it heals.
Beacon of Light has received multiple changes with it no longer refunding mana. Instead, Holy Light and Flash of light now generate 1 Holy Power when cast on a player with Beacon of Light. Additionally, its healing transfer is increased to 50%, from 40%.
Aura Mastery: Interacts with your currently selected aura;
- Devotion Aura: Increases its damage reduction from 3% to 15% for every affected ally.
- Concentration Aura: Provides immunity to interrupt and silence affects.
- Crusader Aura: Increases mount speed increase from 20% to 60% for the 8-second duration of Aura Mastery.
- Retribution Aura: Increases the duration of the Avenging Wrath proc by 6 seconds if someone dies within the 8 second Aura Mastery period.