5.4 PTR: All the Wrong Moves in All the Wrong Places (Part 2)

New holy paladin related updated notes from the latest release:

Talents

  • Eternal Flame initial healing reduced by 30%.
  • Sacred Shield (New) Holy: When you or your Beacon of Light target falls below 30% health, that target gains Sacred Shield, absorbing 30% of their maximum health. Sacred Shield can only occur once every 2 minutes. Protection, Retribution: When you fall below 30% health, you gain Sacred Shield, absorbing 30% of your maximum health. Sacred Shield can only occur once every 2 minutes. Paladin – LvL 45 Talent. 40 yd range. 6 sec cooldown.
  • Sanctified Wrath now has an extra perk for Holy, increasing the critical strike chance of Holy Shock by 20%. Prot perk is now a reduction of the cooldown of Judgment by 100%, up from 50%.
  • Selfless Healer now also works with Divine Light for Holy Paladins.

Holy

  • Divine Plea no longer reduces healing output.

So good stuff from these notes is right off the bat, Yay! Divine Plea buff 🙂 This spell is now kind of like a mini-innervate for us.  Just some background if you’re relatively new, before the patch, Divine Plea had a 50% healing reduction for the 12 seconds it was active.  There was a major glyph which reduced the healing reduction and replaced it with a 5s cast time on the spell.  A majority of holy paladins including myself found this glyph to be extremely useless and rather deemed it smarter to be healing at 50% for 12s than to find a 5s window in which we didn’t need to move or heal for the glyph.  This change basically makes it mindless to determine when to use the spell in terms of keeping yourself and other people alive and now makes the only consideration when using the spell how much mana you need.

So moving on to the less straightforwardly good/bad stuff.

EF Nerf OH NOES!
Eternal Flame previously healed for an instant amount similar to Word of Glory.  The instant heal for EF is a pretty strong heal in itself and typically I would store up holy power to instant heal tanks using it over-riding EFs already on them for really heavy phases.  Apart from that, the base heal of EF was less of the reason that the spell was so great than the HoT refreshing illuminated healing.  In fact typically in EF stacking, the instant heal of the spell would be overheal anyways.  I was just curious how bad of a nerf this was to the healing and decided to look on a random Heroic Horridon log of mine to see what part of the 56.7% overhealing of EF was on the initial instant heal and what part was on the HoT.

There’s probably more intelligent ways of analyzing whether this nerf impacts us but this is how I did it very simply and I think paints a fair picture of the situation.  I cast EF 41 times on this fight and around 50% of the time, I overhealed 30K with over 90K being by average instant heal amount.  With a 30% reduction, these overheals would go down but we would still end up with roughly the same amount of non-overhealing since 30K is roughly 30% of my normal 3HP heal.  You can go through yourself and look at your World of Logs expression browsers for this by typing this phase in:

overheal > 30000 and spell = “Eternal Flame” and isCritical = FALSE

The first term represents the overheal amount which I wanted to see values around 30K based on the 30% reduction, the second spell is obviously eternal flame, and to restrict looking at overhealing only to the initial overheal, I restricted the spells to any that were not critical which a tick of the EF HoT would only hit above 30K if it was a crit.  You can easily put the result into Excel or any type of word processing program to see what a 30% reduction in the base healing will be.

My thoughts on this was that we ended up better than I thought.  I thought for sure that they would do something to the HoT part of the spell since this is what I believe makes the spell so great or something related to illuminated healing with the HoT.  Instead they nerfed the instant heal portion which we previously used for tank healing so once again they reduced our ability to be one of the best if not the best tank healing but they did not reduce our IH benefit so I think we got off easy for now.  The 30% reduction in the instant heal will be apparent but there will still be no reason for healers to not choose EF.  The main thing is we are used to EF and we like how the HoT refreshed Illuminated Healing.  There’s no reason for us to switch if you havent nerfed the spell to the level of uselessness of the other talents of the tier.

BTW can I mention here how stupid I think it is for them to nerf our utility as spot healers?  That was obviously not the reason why we were looking so good on the healing meters, it was the stupid mastery and EF component.  First nerf daybreak, now nerf EF instant heal.  I honestly enjoyed being a spot healer in addition to the strongest tank healer.  It was what paladins have always meant to do well.  The nerf is small and not overall too harmful to the efficiency of the spell but still really missed the spot which may end up damaging our increasingly small healing utility.

Sacred Shield Change
They’ve finally gone and done what we all knew they were going to do which was to give Sacred Shield in its current state as a base spell to protection paladins.  They’ve replaced it with this:

  • Sacred Shield (New) Holy: When you or your Beacon of Light target falls below 30% health, that target gains Sacred Shield, absorbing 30% of their maximum health. Sacred Shield can only occur once every 2 minutes. Protection, Retribution: When you fall below 30% health, you gain Sacred Shield, absorbing 30% of your maximum health. Sacred Shield can only occur once every 2 minutes. Paladin – LvL 45 Talent. 40 yd range. 6 sec cooldown.

A little confused about the 6 second cooldown but only 2 minute minimum activation time but this is not really the focus of the problem.  Sacred Shield V2 is kind of similar to a life saving mechanic like a different version of Ardent Defender.  Protection paladins in my opinion already have one of the best tanking cooldowns of all classes and a spell like this might be good for protection but for holy, it’s kind of a different situation.  In 10 man and 25 man, there are a lot more people to heal than just the tank and yourself.  Sure you may save the tank once or twice but how many times will people in your raid die because of no Eternal Flame.  Eternal Flame is just in my opinion so much better of a raid-wide beneficial spell than Sacred Shield V2.  If given a choice between taking something that will give tremendous healing output versus a spell that might save your tank’s life once or twice would you not go for something that would potentially save your tank’s life while also healing everyone else as well?  I know I would.

Final thoughts on this change is that this spell is mainly intended for protection paladins to use as just another healing cooldown.  Really doesn’t appeal enough to me to choose rather than Eternal Flame.

Sanctified Wrath BUFF?
Sanctified Wrath is like that drunk uncle of the family we don’t like to mention at family gatherings.  In an attempt to reinclude this member to our family, the spell was changed for Holy, perhaps playing off the rare critical strike builds that were going on with Holy Paladins before the T14 nerf (Ah, T14 4-set I will dream about you in my dreams).

  • Sanctified Wrath now has an extra perk for Holy, increasing the critical strike chance of Holy Shock by 20%. Prot perk is now a reduction of the cooldown of Judgment by 100%, up from 50%.

As you surely know, Holy Shock has a based increased 25% chance to crit.  Simply with our intellect level, this puts our holy shock crit % at almost 50%.  An additional 20% would basically give this spell a higher chance to crit than not.  Lets remind ourselves that this drunk uncle decreases the cooldown of holy shock by 50% or from 6 to 3 seconds and increases the duration of Avenging Wrath from 20 to 30 seconds.  In 30 seconds therefore you will realistically get 9 holy shocks if you’re lucky.  I highly doubt anyone will ever get in 10 but OK for arguments and clarity’s sake lets assume you get 10 holy shocks in.  A 3 second holy shock allows us to basically follow our previous healing “rotation” of using holy radiance in between our casts.  Lets see how much total holy power and daybreaks we would get with this Sanctified Wrath Version 2.  Suppose that with a 70% crit rate, we get 7 crits in the 10 possible during Sanctified Wrath.  Without the new version of SW, in an 18 second interval for example we would get 3 HS and a 50% chance to crit, lets just say gives us 2 crits out of 3.  I will indicate crits with an asterisk.

With Holy Avenger (18 seconds, HS-HPD-HR-HPD cycle)

  • 30% additional healing
  • 17 HP, 11 bonus every 3 minutes
  • 3 daybreak stacks
  • 1-2 infusion of light buffs

With Divine Purpose (25% crit, assume 15 EF in 3 minutes with WoL evidence)

  • 4 DP procs
  • 12 HP, 8 bonus in period of 3 minutes
  • No additional daybreak/infusion of light from this

With Sanctified Wrath (30s Avenging Wrath, 3s CD on HS)

  • 10 HS, 5 more than normal 30 second period, every 3 minutes
  • 7 infusion of light buffs, 3-4 more than normal 30 second period
  • 9 daybreak buffs (1 in between each HS),  1-2 more than normal 30 second period with HS-HR-HR a 6.5s cycle

According to this, Sanctified Wrath seems like an interesting alternative to try to Holy Avenger.  Putting out more holy shocks is not only better in terms of generating more holy power, but also better for spot healing.  The cooldown doesn’t seem quite as strong for healing burst damage but with the additional infusion of light and daybreak buffs, it might be a better choice for stacked raid AOE damage which seems to be the trend that Blizzard is going towards for holy paladins.  Holy Avenger will be more stronger in my opinion for spread AOE damage such as poison volleys and phases in Horridon.  I don’t think this change is entirely worthless but still might not be as strong as what the majority of holy paladins use.

I use Selfless Healer, said no Holy Paladin Ever
Well they changed this spell to include Divine Light for Holy because only Holy can use Divine Light and DL is a much stronger heal than Flash of Light.  I get the sense that this change was intended to make holy paladins use this spell more.  No part of this is any more appealing after the change though.  The problem with this spell was minorly the fault that we get no benefit from casting judgement anymore apart from if we take this spell and more majorly due to how OP Eternal Flame was.  Another major problem is not with how much Flash of Light heals for while it doesn’t heals as much as DL the difference in the healing is not going to make us take this spell over EF.  One free DL every 18 seconds is just as unattractive as one free FoL every 18 seconds and my prediction is that it will remain so if this change goes live.

OK, so no addressing trashy 4 set as of yet but it’s still far from release so everyone keep your fingers crossed!

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4 thoughts on “5.4 PTR: All the Wrong Moves in All the Wrong Places (Part 2)

  1. I think Sanctified Wrath, with the changes, will be interesting to try. I’m still kinda so-so about it being stronger than Holy Avenger for stacked burst healing, but it’d be nice to get another viable talent.

    The 30% nerf to Eternal Flame’s initial heal is a bit overdue. They’ve been talking about nerfing it for ages. As long as it’s not to the hot itself, I think it will be manageable.

    As for Selfless Healer… why are they even still trying to make this useful for us? >.> It’s ridiculous.

    Btw, I’m glad I stumbled across your blog. There isn’t a lot of accurate information out there and it’s nice to see someone who knows what they’re doing. xD

  2. Great post my man.
    EF nerf, a little disappointed about this only because it seems they’re so driven to bring the pink man down when a certain other healing spec is so OP now. With the IH and Daybreak nerf I felt we were in a good spot. This still won’t change my choice of EF vs SS, which after reading your description of it leaves me scratching my head.

    SW talent seems like it got a nice buff to it but being a HA junkie I’ll have to play around with it first when it goes live to see if its worth taking. With HA I get an additional cooldown in conjunction with AW. With the 4 piece T16 buff to DF it seems we’ll have a nice arsenal of cd’s.

    Selfless healer will still be a PvP centric talent esp combined with the talent where your Judgments slow their target down.

    Keep posting 🙂

  3. Good post, although, according to the PTR Notes from today:

    “Mastery: Illuminated Healing no longer activates from periodic healing effects.”
    Source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/10158897/54_PTR_Now_Live-6_20_2013#paladin

    This apparently includes EF, Light’s Hammer, and Execution Sentence.

  4. I’m so glad i found a new compelling blog for holy paladins!
    Profound information and an easy read 🙂
    Thx

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