Few words on PTR changes since there hasn’t really been any news…
5.4 PTR Release – August 27, 2013 (Source)
Confirmed Patch Release – September 10th, 2013
The period of mechanics changes to Holy Paladins seem to be over as Blizzard gets into more of the scaling changes period. You can check out all of the 5.4 Holy Paladin changes here. On the whole, holy paladins are looking fairly decent in 10-man situations but weaker in 25-man. We’ll see what kind of scaling changes Blizzard will roll out to balance the healing classes in that scenario. It seems like the patch is just on the horizon. With the Arena season coming to a close on August 27th, the release of the new patch should be some time close to this, either on the same day or a week or two afterwards.
I’m pretty excited about this new raid involving Garrosh and this monster or hatred and fear that has brewed up inside him. It’ll be really interesting to see how the storyline plays out in relation to the old world and some of his loyal soldiers, namely Nazgrim who is near and dear to our own hearts as the first NPC we interact with around almost all of level 85 in the Jade Forest, as well as the friendly and chubby pandas we’ve come to know well in Pandaria. The first few raids MSV, HoF, and ToES were visually to me mediocre and the storyline behind them was not as strong considering our brand new introduction to the land of Pandaria. The Throne of Thunder raid was in my opinion a lot better visually with some more interesting fights but the story line is still a bit removed from the standard World of Warcraft storyline. Now that we’ve become more and more familiar with the mantid and Mogu story lines along with the Sha creatures, it’ll be really nice to see them meld in with characters we’ve known for many expansions.
I’m less impressed with the healing changes to Holy Paladins. Understandably the class needed adjustments but in my opinion, it would’ve been better to put the changes off till an expansion when there’s more time to talk over and test changes and just roll the coefficient back on Mastery for 5.4. No one in the holy paladin community debated the fact that EF was a crutch since it was the more efficient spell in 99.9% of situations and at least for me I’m not arguing to get IH back because I think it’s OK to have. But apart from the developers I hardly see any holy paladin happy with the way things currently are. We need to be left with something that is still engaging to play. It’s fine to say that HoTs or absorbs weren’t a design consideration for holy paladins. It’s not OK to leave the class in the dark about what their role is in a raid because we need to know our role, hell the whole community needs to know our strength as a class to bring us over other healing classes which have clear defined roles. Regardless of my disappointment, it won’t affect my decision to play a Holy Paladin and I’m hoping to explore some of the new things the class offers which I know will be there.
On the state of lvl 45 talents, EF still appears to be the go-to talent (even after weeks and weeks of PTR changes which I find amusing) for 25-man and possibly 10-man. In 10-man SS may still be a viable talent as the absorb covers more of the raid. People are still dancing around SH since the nerf to the mana efficiency of the talent build. With tuning though, this priority could change around a great deal.
Stop. Trinket Time.
One thing I’ve been updating in the 5.4 PTR Patch Notes page is the difference trinkets available as well as the legendary healing cloak. My goal here is to give you an overview of what the 4 new trinkets of the SoO raid are going to provide for you and some predictions as to what will be the best choice for Holy Paladins as well as get you off on a good start once the patch hits.
For those of you unlucky individuals only able to get Titan Runestones off bosses with 100% chance to drop them, better hurry up and get yours soon because very quickly after 5.4 hits, you will be able to obtain an upgraded version of the Special Cloak from the quest line you’re currently able to obtain (ilvl 600) called Jina-Kang, Kindness of Chi-Ji. This cloak provides no additional stats compared to the one currently obtainable but comes with an additional Equip effect. For healers it is the chance of a periodic buff called “Spirit of Chi-ji“.
- Spirit of Chi-ji: Your healing spells have a chance to grant you Spirit of Chi-Ji, increasing all healing done by 5% and causing all overhealing to be redistributed to 5 nearby injured friends, for 10 sec. (0.54 PPM)
How to get the legendary cloak:
- You must have completed up to the quest to get your ilvl 600 cloak.
- Go meet up with your buddy ol’ pal Wrathion at the Tavern of the Mists in the Veiled Stair (his usual hang out place with his friend) (Quest)
- Wrathion’s like meet me at the Timeless Isle yo. Now on the PTR I was able to access this place by going to the Mogu’shan Palace entrance and talking to an NPC there but you can optionally also fly to it. It’s located to the southest of the Jade Forest. (Quest)
- At the Timeless Isle, you will pick up two quests Secrets of the Timeless Isle and The Emperor’s Way.
- Secrets of the Timeless Island is a quest to obtain 5000 Timeless Coins. Timeless Coins are obtained through several things including doing dailies, killing mobs, treasure chests, the typical. There are many articles out there about obtaining these. The general consensus is that these are not hard to obtain so getting 5000 of them should be doable within 1 day. (Quest)
- The Emperor’s Way is a quest to defeat the 4 celestial legends in combat. This requires a full 25-man raid group to do. Here is Wowhead’s amazing in-depth article about the Timeless Isle and includes a section describing these 4 bosses. (Quest)
- After turning these two in, you will meet Wrathion at the Seat of Knowledge which is basically the step in front of Mogu’shan Palace in the Vale. You will then receive a cool item to use on your cloak. Depending on what your cloak is, the item will upgrade that version of it. (Quest)
- Finally, he will tell you to kill someone.
The cloak prioritizes healing people who are more injured. I hear currently that the cloak is extremely overpowered for restoration shamans. In Testing, the trinket contributes around 5-10% depending on the overhealing and the type of fight for holy paladins from the information I’ve thus far seen so it’s a fairly nice buff.
Siege of Orgrimmar Healing Trinkets
Four healing trinkets drop from the SoO raid, much like ToT. These drop from Sha of Pride (4), General Nazgrim (8), Thok the Blood Thirsty (11), and Siegecrafter Blackfuse (12). Remember there are 14 bosses in SoO. For all the trinkets, there will be 6 versions.
- LFR (528)
- Flexible Raid (540)
- Normal (553)
- Normal Warforged (559)
- Heroic (566)
- Heroic Warforged (572)
Item upgrades I believe will still be available so your highest possible ilvl gear will be 580. Warforged is the same thing as Thunderforged. Higher chance to drop in 25-man than 10-man and 6 levels above either the normal or heroic equivalent. I’ll go in to the trinkets in a bit more detail. It’s important to remember that these might change any time between now and August 27th and also what kind of healing spells the trinkets proc off of (direct healing or any type of HoT + direct healing) will affect their usefulness.
Contemplation of Chi-ji (Timeless Isle, Vendor Purchase): Increases your Spirit by 8281 for 15 sec. (1 Min, 30 Sec Cooldown)
- 14020/1.5 Minutes (535), 14552/1.5 Minutes (539), 15104/1.5 Minutes ( 543)
This trinket is obtained through Timeless Isle items. Just wanted to mention it so people were aware of it in case they wanted to go for a catch-up item.
Thok’s Acid-Grooved Tooth (SoO Drop, Thok the Bloodthirsty)
Equip: Your heals have a chance to Cleave, dealing the same healing to 5 nearby targets. Chance to do cleave healing based on item level.
Equip: Each time your spells heal you have a chance to gain Intellect for 20 sec. 115s internal cooldown. 15% chance for intellect proc regardless of item level, intellect proc value dependent on item level.
|Item Level||Chance to Cleave||Intellect Buff|
|Flexible Raid (540)||2.75||10420|
|Normal Warforged (559)||3.29||12436|
|Heroic Warforged (572)||3.71||14039|
There’s not too much to say about this trinket in terms of its complexity. Essentially, the spell will cause a certain percentage of your heals to heal nearby 5 targets for the same amount of healing. I’m not sure about the range on the trinket so if it is something standard like 10 or 8 yards, then it may not be as good for non-stack fights or for 10-man raids. I believe this spell can only be activated by beneficial casts and so it won’t proc from HoTs. I believe that currently the trinket is really buggy so it’s hard to test. I’ve got my eye on this one though until I can confirm more details about it. It seems like a decent trinket however due to its RNG nature, I’m not sure how much of it will go to overheal. Granted overhealing with it would be beneficial with the legendary cloak. (Have I mentioned how ridiculous I think it is to have overhealing actually be more beneficial?)
Prismatic Prison of Pride (SoO Drop, Sha of Pride)
Amplifies your Critical Strike damage and healing, Haste, Mastery, and Spirit by a percentage.
Each time your spells heal you have a chance to gain Intellect for 20 sec. 115s internal cooldown. 15% chance for intellect proc regardless of item level. Effective for healer specializations only.
|Item Level||Amplify Percentage||Intellect Buff|
|Flexible Raid (540)||6%||10420|
|Normal Warforged (559)||7%||12436|
|Heroic Warforged (572)||8%||14039|
Similar intellect proc to some of the other trinkets with a base increase in stats. I think this trinket is decent but it remains to be determined whether it’s better than the others. an 8% increase on the heroic version for example would only translate to around a 5.6% increase in mastery for example or for with 15,000 spirit around 1,200 spirit. My gut feeling is that this type of trinket is much better for DPS classes who have extremely high secondary stat priorities. It could also be better for high item levels as the percentage increase will amplify a large value. I especially don’t see much use in the trinket if spirit is not an issue for the fight as the spirit part of the trinket was just recently added on.
Dysmorphic Samophlange of Discontinuity (SoO Drop, Siegecrafter Blackfuse):
+ Static Intellect
Your heals have a chance to grant you Spirit for 10 sec. Every 0.5 sec, this effect is reduced by a portion. 0.92 PPM regardless of ilvl.
|Item Level||Static Intellect||Beginning Spirit||Spirit Decrement Every 0.5s||Spirit to Mana Conversion Per Proc|
|Flexible Raid (540)||1735||20840||1042||12325|
|Normal Warforged (559)||2072||24880||1244||14719|
|Heroic Warforged (572)||2339||28080||1404||16616|
The last column in the table above shows the total amount of mana gained back for each proc. The PPM of this trinket dictates that it procs approximately once every minute. This is effectively a mana return trinket with a fancy mechanic. It also benefits classes which stack more haste which Paladins are not turning out to do very much despite the sanctity of battle change. However, even for a once per minute proc, on just a 8 minute fight this trinket will return 80,000 mana. It may be that using this trinket would allow us to go more of our secondary stats (such as haste) and be beneficial that way.
Nazgrim’s Burnished Insignia (SoO Drop, Nazgrim)
Your heals have a chance to trigger Multistrike, which causes instant additional healing to your target equal to 33% of the original healing done.
Your helpful spells have a chance to grant intellect for 10 sec. 0.92 PPM for Intellect proc regardless of item level. Chance to trigger changes based on item level.
|Item Level||Multistrike Chance|
|Flexible Raid (540)||12.4%|
|Normal Warforged (559)||14.8%|
|Heroic Warforged (572)||16.7%|
Apart from the intellect buff which we’ve already discussed, this trinket provides a chance to trigger an additional 33% heal off any heal you perform. I’m wary of trinkets like this because a large part of our heals are already going to overhealing so I suspect that this trinket may result in mostly overhealing. The chance to multistrike however is quite large so the sheer amount of procs may cause this trinket to pull ahead of the others. Also, the legendary cloak mechanic will help with the overhealing.
What 5.4 trinkets are Holy Paladins using?
Based on my guesses which may be as wrong as they are right, I think the interplay with the trinkets and the overhealing buff will make either the cleave or multistrike trinket at least one of our best. My gut feeling is the multistrike trinket and the cleave trinket are pretty close for 10-man groups with perhaps the cleave trinket pulling ahead a bit more on stacked fights and much farther ahead for 25-man. I think the spirit trinket is a must have for progression with its static intellect buff and the spirit proc returning quite a lot of spirit. It should be a decent competitor if not better than Horridon’s Last Gasp due to its reliability.