Playstyle & Rotation
I will assume you have 3x Glimmer of Light traits in this guide. If you don’t, it’s better for you to go get them rather than learn how to play without them.
- Keep Holy Shock on cooldown.
- Keep at least one charge of Crusader Strike on cooldown.
- Keep Light of Dawn on cooldown if you can hit injured targets with it.
- Fill empty GCDs that will not delay Holy Shock, Crusader Strike, or Light of Dawn with Flash of Light, Holy Light or DPS spells.
Beacon of Light
Put Beacon of Light on the target most in danger of dying, without sustained healing. Usually, that will be a tank. On many fights, it’s worth the GCD to swap your beacon from an inactive tank to an active one, or to a non tank who will take heavy sustained damage.
Never delay casting Holy Shock. Use Holy Shock to triage heal injured allies, who require an immediate heal to live, and to apply Glimmer of Light to allies who will be taking damage within the next 30 seconds. If no one needs immediate healing or Glimmer of Light, Holy Shock an enemy for DPS.
The most common mistake is to delay a Holy Shock, often by a GCD or a fraction of a GCD. Never start a Flash of Light or Holy Light cast if Holy Shock will become available during the cast. Never use an instant spell if Holy Shock will become available during the GCD of the instant spell.
In general, you should avoid overwriting Glimmer of Light. Try to Holy Shock targets without Glimmer of Light -- assuming they will take damage within 30 seconds -- in order to increase your Glimmer coverage and gain more value from the trait. However, don’t let someone die because they already had Glimmer!
In general, I prioritize Holy Shock as follows:
- Player who will die in the next GCD without a heal regardless of whether they have Glimmer.
- Player who will take sustained damage over the next 30 seconds and does not already have Glimmer.
- Player who is injured and does not already have Glimmer.
- Player who will take damage over the next 30 seconds even if they already have Glimmer.
- Enemy targets.
The two most common mistakes are to fail to Holy Shock someone in danger just because they already have Glimmer; and to Holy Shock someone who doesn’t need the up front heal, or the Glimmer, just to have an extra Glimmer out.
Assuming Holy Shock is on cooldown, your next highest priority is keeping one charge of Crusader Strike on cooldown as well. With Crusader’s Might, each cast of Crusader Strike reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock and Light of Dawn by 1.5 seconds. It is important to keep Crusader Strike on cooldown to maximize your cooldown reduction on Holy Shock. But so long as one charge is on cooldown, you are not losing any uses of this ability and can bank the second charge for future cooldown reduction.
Crusader Strike both consumes a GCD and reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 1.5 seconds, so you should not cast Crusader Strike if Holy Shock’s remaining cooldown is less than 1.5 seconds plus 1 GCD’s time. If you do, you are wasting a portion of the cooldown reduction of Crusader Strike. Instead, you should cast any non-Crusader Strike GCD, then Holy Shock, then use the Crusader Strike for full cooldown reduction.
The two most common mistakes are to fail to keep Crusader Strike on cooldown, usually by delaying it, to finish a Flash of Light or Holy Light; and to waste the cooldown reduction of Crusader Strike by casting it when Holy Shock would have been available the following GCD, regardless of what you cast.
Light of Dawn
Light of Dawn is an extremely good AOE heal. It heals 5 targets, in a 15 yard cone, in front of you. It is your second best heal after Holy Shock. You should cast Light of Dawn on cooldown if you can hit injured targets with it. Be mindful of the positioning of your raid, and aim your Light of Dawn at clumps of injured players. If a clump of injured players is more than 15 yards away, you can use Rule of Law to extend the range to 22 yards.
The most common mistake is to lose potential casts of Light of Dawn, due to casting only Holy Shock and Crusader Strike. You can use the charge system of Crusader Strike to your advantage, allowing you to weave in Light of Dawn without delaying either Holy Shock or Crusader Strike.
Flash of Light/Holy Light/Light of the Martyr
If Holy Shock, Light of Dawn and Crusader Strike are all on cooldown for long enough that casting Flash of Light or Holy Light will not delay any of them, cast Flash of Light or Holy Light if someone is injured. Holy Paladin is fairly GCD locked with Holy Shock, Light of Dawn and Crusader Strike, so opportunities to fit in a Flash of Light or Holy Light will be infrequent. You’ll usually have Infusion of Light, which increases the healing of Flash of Light and reduces the cast time of Holy Light. Using Infusion of Light, on Flash of Light, is slightly higher HPS than using it on Holy Light.
Similar to Flash of Light and Holy Light, you can cast Light of the Martyr if casting it will not delay Holy Shock, Light of Dawn or Crusader Strike. Light of the Martyr does not transfer healing to your Beacon of Light, and loses half the upfront healing it does by injuring you. This makes it significantly weaker than any of your other heals. However, Light of the Martyr has three use cases. First, if you are unable to stand still to cast, your instant casts are on cooldown, and someone needs healing, you can Light of the Martyr them. Second, because Light of the Martyr does its healing at the beginning of the GCD (while Flash of Light does its healing at the end) if someone will die before a GCD can complete, you can cast Light of the Martyr to save their life. Third, if your Beacon target is taking extremely heavy damage, Light of the Martyr spam will do more to keep them alive than Flash of Light spam.
The most common mistake is to cast Light of the Martyr when you could have cast a superior healing spell. It is also common, although much less egregious, to never cast Light of the Martyr even in the rare situations when it is appropriate.
Rule of Law
Rule of Law is an extraordinary spell, giving Holy Paladins the unique ability to heal targets up to 60 yards away. In every encounter, you should anticipate situations in which you need to heal targets more than 40 yards away, and reserve at least one charge of Rule of Law for those uses.
There are GCDs in which Holy Shock and Crusader Strike are on cooldown, and Light of Dawn is either on cooldown or unnecessary. So long as you never delay Holy Shock or Crusader Strike, you should fill these GCDs with Judgment or Consecration.
Because Avenging Wrath significantly reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock - but you still do not want to delay a Holy Shock - you should cast Avenging Wrath 1 GCD before Holy Shock comes off cooldown, so you can cast Holy Shock immediately after Avenging Wrath.
Avenging Wrath both increases your healing and changes your rotation. Your priority remains the same: Holy Shock on cooldown, use Crusader Strike to acquire more Holy Shocks, Light of Dawn whenever you can without losing Holy Shock casts, and fill all GCDs without delaying Holy Shock, Crusader Strike, or Light of Dawn. However, during Avenging Wrath, the cooldown of Holy Shock is reduced significantly. You can fit 1 Crusader Strike between Holy Shocks, or 2 spells that aren’t Crusader Strike. This is important because if you cast something other than Crusader Strike after a Holy Shock, then Crusader Strike comes off cooldown and you cast it, you have completely wasted the cooldown reduction from Crusader’s Might. You would have been able to cast Holy Shock the following GCD whether you cast Judgment, Consecration, Flash of Light, Light of the Martyr, or nothing at all--and all of those options are better than wasting the Crusader Strike.
Accordingly, during Avenging Wrath you should Holy Shock, Crusader Strike, Holy Shock. While Crusader Strikes are recharging, you should weave in Light of Dawn and a second GCD of your choice, such as Flash of Light or Judgment.
If you pair Holy Avenger with Avenging Wrath, you will gain significantly more Holy Shock casts within Avenging Wrath. While you will remain capped at 8x Glimmer, by casting more Holy Shocks with 8x Glimmers active, you will still do more total Glimmer of Light healing than you would if you didn’t use Holy Avenger at the same time.
Whether you should use Holy Avenger and Avenging Wrath together will depend on the damage pattern of the encounter. For example, if all damage occurs in 30 second windows at 90 second intervals, there is no value in splitting your cooldowns.
If you do decide to pair Holy Avenger with Avenging Wrath, you should try to avoid losing Holy Shock or Crusader Strike casts while doing so. Thus, the optimal way to pair them is to cast Avenging Wrath 1 GCD before Holy Shock comes off cooldown, cast Holy Shock, cast Crusader Strike, cast Holy Shock. Now Holy Shock and Crusader Strike are on cooldown, and you can fill the two GCDs before Holy Shock becomes available with Light of Dawn and Holy Avenger, followed of course by Holy Shock.
Use Aura Mastery to mitigate the most dangerous, hard-hitting mechanics in the encounter.
For single target DPS, cast Holy Shock on cooldown and use Crusader Strike to reduce the cooldown of Holy Shock. Weave in Judgment and Consecration when they will not delay Holy Shock or Crusader Strike casts. Always try to follow Judgment with Holy Shock, not Crusader Strike, so that the higher damage Holy Shock gains the 30% damage bonus from the Judgment debuff.
The cooldown of Consecration is much shorter than its duration, so be careful not to overcast Consecration. Only cast it as necessary to refresh right before it expires, or to reapply to mobs who have moved out of the original ground effect.