Vanquisher’s Hammer: Whilst this is arguably one of the more boring options, in Patch 9.0.5 Vanquisher’s Hammer will now generate 1 holy power when used. Whilst this bridges the gap between Necrolord and the other covenants, it is not enough for it to be considered competitive in raiding, for now. Necrolord’s Soulbinds outshine its class ability. Having the shared second shortest cooldown on their class ability, being able to proc Emeni’s soulbind ability Lead by example every 30 seconds, especially in a raid environment, is a healthy boost to your throughput especially when using Vanquisher’s Hammer during Avenging Wrath or Avenging Crusader.
Plague Deviser Marileth:
Volatile Solvent has the potential to give you multiple strong buffs, depending on the enemy corpse you absorb with Fleshcraft. In 9.1 Volatile Solvent will now always provide the player with the 120 mastery buff from Volatile Solvent: Humanoid when using Fleshcraft and running over corpses will now reduce the cooldown of your Fleshcraft by 1 second for each corpse.
- Volatile Solvent: Beast - 2% Intellect (Primary Stat)
- Volatile Solvent: Humanoid - 120 Mastery
- Volatile Solvent: Dragonkin - 3% Critical Strike
- Volatile Solvent: Demon - 3% Stamina
- Volatile Solvent: Aberration - 78 Armor
- Volatile Solvent: Undead - Heal 2% of your health when an enemy dies
- Volatile Solvent: Giant - Do 3% more physical damage
- Volatile Solvent: Elemental - Magic damage done increased by 3%
- Volatile Solvent: Mechanical - Magic damage taken reduced by 5%
Availability of corpses could be an issue in raid encounters without adds but open-world activities and mythic + will give you ample opportunities to absorb enemies and gain buffs.
Ultimate Form (unlocked at 30 renown) giving you an immunity to crowd control whilst channeling Fleshcraft can become useful in niche situations in PVE but is extremely powerful in a PVP setting therefore I recommend using Plague Deviser Marileth’s soulbind in that kind of content as a Necrolord Paladin.
Lead by Example continues to be the strongest PVE option for Necrolords in patch 9.1. With the low cooldown on Vanquisher's Hammer you have consistent access to the primary stat boost whilst also benefiting from its added defensive utility with Emeni's Magnificent Skin and Gristled Toes. Additionally with the legendary Maraad's Dying Breath being used more extensively in the Sanctum of Domination raid, it has great synergy with Pustule Eruption with using your DoT from this legendary to consistently proc Fleshcraft’s effect.
The Theotar soulbind is yet again the most powerful soulbind option for Venthyr Holy Paladins with Life is but an Appetizer giving you a considerable defensive and utility boost with passive speed and avoidance whilst opening up an additional endurance conduit slot for the new and powerful Condensed Anima Sphere conduit.
The Party Favors consumable becomes available at 54 renown and it is a potent boost to your throughput, especially if you get lucky with how many times you get the primary stat bonus per use.
Ashen Hallow: The ability itself cannot be cast further than 30 yards away from you and creates a large red circle (20 yards radius) that heals and damages everything inside it, granting you the ability to use your Hammer of Wrath whilst standing in the zone, regardless of whether your intended target is also affected by Ashen Hallow.
Its prohibitive 4-minute cooldown is justified by its throughput and whilst substantial in size, Ashen Hallow’s healing and damage are static thus preplanning will be required to make the most of this major cooldown. Its ability to give you access to Hammer of Wrath overlaps with Avenging Wrath’s benefit as well but you would want to pair Avenging Wrath and Ashen Hallow together anyway to boost its already considerable throughput.
Door of Shadows: is the Venthyr signature ability that offers a casted 35-yard blink. Whilst situational, Holy paladin will benefit greatly from more mobility options, especially when talented into Unbreakable Spirit.
Token of Appreciation is unlocked at 34 renown in Theotar the Mad Duke’s soulbind and you can expect a 4% increase in throughput from this one trait alone, making it more consistent than General Draven’s Hold your ground and the most powerful soulbind for Venthyr Holy Paladins.
Dreamweave continues to be a powerful soulbind for healers with its cheat death Podtender trait saving a battle ress, storing overhealing on players as a shield whilst using Empowered Chrysalis and having a personal shield from Waking Dreams on a minute cooldown make this your go-to soulbind. On top of this when you reach 54 renown you gain Dream Delver which can be procc’d through any of your healing abilities, including your passive healing from Beacon of Light.
Blessing of the Seasons: Four individual 30-second buffs that cycle in a loop, on a 45-second cooldown.
Blessing of Winter and Blessing of Summer are lacklustre when used on yourself (as a Holy paladin) but interesting interactions may arise from using buffs on other DPS specs that could utilise and benefit from the buffs in more ways than Holy paladin ever could.
Blessing of Spring on paper looks great to use on a healer, but the benefits double-dip on tank specs that have substantial self-healing; such as Blood DK or Vengeance Demon Hunters.
Soulshape: is an aesthetically pleasing shapeshift that allows you to blink 15 yards on a 4-second cooldown, for its duration. Whilst on the global cooldown, its mobility value is still high and offers more flexibility than in comparison to Venthyr’s Door of Shadows.
Thematically and aesthetically Blessing of Seasons is an interesting idea that expands upon the concept of healers offering more to the raid team than damage reduction, throughput and utility. Whilst initially lacklustre, I wouldn’t be surprised if Blizzard revisited some of the buffs, in particular the Blessing of Summer and Blessing of Spring, to be more impactful for DPS specs and until that happens, Night Fae isn’t a competitive pick for throughput, especially when compared to other options at this moment. But, I am excited by the initial concept Blizzard has introduced here and I look forward to seeing them flesh out this idea more in the upcoming patches.
Kleia continues to be a very competitive soulbind for Kyrian Holy Paladins with there being ample amounts of passive critical strike increase from traits such as Pointed Courage and Light the Path. Whilst not the progression orientated soulbind with Kleia offering little defensive utility and exclusively passive bonuses in comparison to Pelagos’ mastery buff from Combat Meditation when using Divine Toll to aid burst healing whilst the soulbind also has the defensive buff Let Go of the Past, makes it a competitive option for more bleeding edge content like first week mythic progression. Your throughput is going to benefit most from Kleia’s soulbind but Kyrian paladin’s have the alternative of Pelagos for defensive and burst healing utility.
Pelagos’ Newfound Resolve is a healthy boost to throughput and survivability when it procs but with an uptime of around 13-16%, its intermittent uptime makes this soulbind fall short of the bonuses that Kleia’s soulbind currently offers in terms of raw throughput.
Divine Toll: is an exciting covenant class ability that synergises well with Holy Paladin’s core kit. When using Divine Toll as a Holy Paladin, Holy Shock generates holy power and transfers healing from your class ability into Beacon of Light. Any target with the talented Glimmer of Light buff/debuff will be healed/damaged only once when Divine Toll is used.
Divine Toll is flexible and powerful in most end-game scenarios you might face as a Holy Paladin, and only becomes stronger when your talents, conduits and legendaries interact with it. Its strength isn’t diminished either if you play your off-specs very often thus making it an attractive option for those who aren’t set on a specific specialization for their end-game content goals.
Summon Steward: is a peculiar but useful covenant signature ability that, once summoned, will give you 3x Phial of Serenity and other options such as the ability to change your talents, vendor any items you don’t need and tell a friend how awesome they are (I’m not joking). Phial of Serenity will be extremely useful in Mythic+, especially considering it dispels (usually undispellable) debuffs and doesn’t share a cooldown with either Healthstones or Spiritual Healing Potion.
Soulbinds and Conduits
Condensed Anima Sphere: at 226 item level this conduit heals for 4% of your maximum health, anytime you take damage on a 10 second cooldown and currently your most powerful endurance conduit option.
Shielding Words: There is no min-maxing required to use this trait effectively as overwriting previous shields is an inconsequential HPS loss. This conduit gains more value in Mythic+ as Word of Glory is powerful in a 5 man setting but loses value in raiding due to you primarily using holy power on Light of Dawn.
Light’s Barding: An extremely powerful conduit that is applicable to almost every aspect of the game, that you might encounter as a Holy Paladin.
Echoing Blessings: With the current lack of choices in Finesse conduits, this is an easy second option for your soulbind.
Adaptive Armor Fragment: The latest potency conduit added to the game is a potent choice for Holy paladins and you can expect around 2 to 3.5% (depending on item level) intellect with an uptime of around 50%. This is currently your 3rd best conduit to pick up to slot into your soulbind if you are playing with the Maraad's Dying Breath legendary or 2nd best if you with any other legendary.
Focused Light Your first option for your potency slot in the soulbind tree and is a notable throughput gain for a Holy Paladin in any covenant.
Enkindled Spirit: Due to the nature of this conduit tying its value to a 3-minute cooldown, this is not going to be a competitive option outside of niche AoE burst healing scenarios that could pair up nicely with Holy Avenger during Avenging Wrath.
Covenant Specific Conduits
Ringing Clarity: is a random proc of a nice chunk of healing. Although its random nature is the biggest drawback to this conduit, your RNG will average out across any 7 to 10 minute raid encounter.
The Long Summer: This conduit’s value is bizarrely tied to one out of four available buffs from the Holy Paladin class ability. Whilst Blessing of Summer in of itself is a valuable external damage buff on certain DPS specs within their burst cooldown window. This conduit currently can’t compete with any other potency conduit options available.
Righteous Might: Is another niche covenant specific potency conduit option that could only see play in a DPS orientated Holy Paladin build but even then; Focused Light is a better and more flexible damage option. I would not be surprised if this got re-worked or replaced in future patches.
Hallowed Discernment: The smart healing and damaging components of this conduit are notable throughput gains. Whilst this conduit’s healing performance will vary, for single target scenarios this conduit will do considerable damage during Ashen Hallow, sealing the deal as your go-to option for your second potency slot.
Shock Barrier: has incredible synergy with the Kyrian Divine Toll covenant ability. Whilst the number of barriers you can have out is capped at 5, overwriting previously applied Shock Barrier’s with Divine Toll will be inevitable and does not undermine the strength of this legendary.
You can buff the shield strength on 1 player by using Blessing of Spring, if you choose to join the Night Fae covenant, but the strength of this legendary comes from having up to 5 out at one time rather than the individual raw strength of the shield that already scales well with your own healing including crits and raw spell power.
Inflorescence of the Sunwell
In 9.1 this legendary has been reworked to give Holy Light a 30% chance to generate 2 Holy Power when it consumes Infusion of Light. This does not stack with the Holy Power generation from using Holy Light on your Beacon of Light target. This new effect is an inadvertent nerf to the legendary with it replacing the old 60% throughput buff to your next two Holy Light’s from Infusion of Light to an RNG roll on Holy power.
Shadowbreaker, Dawn of the Sun
Shadowbreaker, Dawn of the Sun: this legendary’s strength is in raid environments where you can benefit from the improved range and healing to Light of Dawn. The tooltip can be deceiving as the range of Light of Dawn isn’t actually boosted to 40 yards, as it might suggest. Instead, it modifies the cone of healing to be wider whilst also improving the range to anywhere between 35-38 yards. This can also be modified by Rule of Law which changes the tooltip on the legendary to 60 yards and again improves the range and widens the healing cone of Light of Dawn to a similar degree. The widening of the healing cone allows for fights that require raid spreads to be less punishing on Light of Dawn’s throughput and reduces the likelihood of the holy power going to waste.
In 9.0.5 this legendary’s buff duration was increased from 6 to 8 seconds. Whilst not BiS as of right now (9.1) this legendary has potential to come into the spotlight once players can use more than one legendary at the same time.
Maraad’s Dying Breath
This legendary sees significantly more use in the Sanctum of Domination raid with its healing profile suiting multiple fights such as Sylvanas, Guardian of the First ones and Painsmith Raznal. Kyrian Holy paladins will not want to pick this legendary as Shock Barrier is still your most potent option whilst using the Glimmer of Light talent.
Maraad's Dying Breath: an exact copy of the legion legendary that became popular to use in Mythic+ when paired with the talent Beacon of Faith. Whilst having the most promising potential in the Mythic+ format, this legendary can see situational fight where heavy spot healing is required both on random raid members and tanks in conjunction with Beacon of Faith.
All helmet, chest and shoulder slot gear that drops in the Sanctum of Domination raid have a special socket to place any of your shards of domination in. There are 3 categories of shards (Blood, Frost and Unholy) with 3 shards for each category. Having all three of one type of shard socketed into your gear will activate a set bonus that is active only in the new raid, Korthia, the Maw and Torghast.
To achieve the set bonus you will need three of the aforementioned gems of one category already socketed into your gear along with the armour that activates it. Helmets activate the Unholy bonus Chaos Bane. Chest pieces from the raid activate Blood Link and Shoulder pieces activate Words of Winter. Additionally each armour type has access to two additional domination socket pieces from the raid and for holy paladins they are the bracer and glove slot.
These set bonuses can be upgraded through spending a new currency (dropped from raid bosses and certain trash mobs) called Stygian Embers to upgrade each gem’s potency which in turn boost the set bonus’ strength.
This upgrading is possible after reaching level 44 renown and completing the campaign quests tied to this renown level. You can then talk to Bonesmith Heimer who offers upgrades to your Shards of Domination. Once this NPC has been unlocked on one character, he will be present in the Korthia hub for every single character.
There are 5 ranks of potency to each set bonus and upgrading the set bonus is achieved by purchasing more powerful shards of domination from Bonesmith Heimer. Once three shards from the same set have been upgraded to the same level, it will upgrade that set bonus’ potency. These ranks are:
|Rank||Name||Upgrade Cost (for each shard)|
|2||Ominous||5x Stygian Embers|
|3||Desolate||15x Stygian Embers|
|4||Foreboding||30x Stygian Embers|
|5||Portentous||50x Stygian Embers|
- Shard of Cor
- Shard of Tel
- Shard of Kyr : this shard complements any Unholy/Blood shard set well, especially if you’re playing with the Maraad's Dying Breath legendary.
- Shard of Dyz
- Shard of Zed
- Shard of Oth: this shard is a worthy addition to your Frost/Blood shard set for the Fatescribe Roh-Kalo, Soulrender Dormazain, Painsmith Raznal and Sylvanas encounters if you struggle with the mobility checks in these encounters.
- Shard of Bek
- Shard of Jas
- Shard of Rev: this shard is an easy choice to complement your Frost/Unholy shard set with its considerable increase to leech being incredibly valuable for your healing throughput.
The Chaos Bane set bonus supplemented with the Shard of Kyr and Shard of Rev will provide the biggest increase to your healing throughput whilst the Blood Link set bonus whilst also having the Shard of Dyz and Shard of Cor (swapped with the Shard of Zed for pure single target encounters) equipped is your best damage option.