This post was published long before the Mists of Pandara Expansion.
The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

Plan of attack

So.. How do I squeeze the most DPS out of my holy pally?
Based on my toolset (ie, I’m not protection and not deep into Retribution) I should have a second set of gear that stacks on spell damage and spell crit.

I chose my build (51/0/10) very specifically be the best healer I can be and in solo to avoid the dilution of stats that seems to occur deep in the Retribution tree. As far as I can tell, I’ve grabbed the talents/abilities that favor spell damage and avoided those that favor melee stats. I also favored things the don’t add to my threat where possible (ie, choosing Blessed Life instead of going deeper into Retribution to get Eye for an Eye).

Spell damage looks to be the most overall useful.. but a crit is a crit. Intelligence and Stamina also figure high on my “want-to-have” list.

1. Put up Blessing of Something
Blessing of Might will increase my white DPS. Not terribly useful..(WTB: Blessing of +spell damage)
Blessing of Wisdom will give me a mana trickle.
My time as Protection Specced has left me with a fear of being mana starved(Best Scarlet O’Hara Voice: “I will nevah be mana-starved again!!”). I think I’ll start out with BoW but I’m open to the idea of using BoM.

2. Put up an Aura
Retribution Aura adds to my DPS.
Maybe use a different aura if the mob casts specific spells.

3. Initial Seal: Seal of Something**
The good choices here are Crusader, Light, or Wisdom.
Crusader adds to my Holy DPS.
Light gives me a health trickle.
Wisdom gives me a mana trickle.

4. Run at baddie.

5 Judgement. Gives them Judgement of Something.

6. Battle Seal: Seal of Something Else
The good choices here are Righteousness or Vengeance.
Righteousness will do even damage with a nice burst.
Vengeance will do ramping up damage with eventually nice bursts. Good for longer fights.
Secondary choices here are Light or Wisdom for the health/mana dribble.

Then what? Consecrate? Holy Shock? Situationally Holy Wrath, Exorcism, Hammer of Wrath?

Holy Shock is a good choice against a single mob. Rank 3: 325 mana | 365 to 395 damage. That’s 0.89 mana for 1 point of damage. It gets 42% of your spell damage.

Consecrate is a good choice if you’re fighting more than one critter. Against one it’s very mana wasteful. Rank 5: 565 mana | 384 damage That’s 1.47 mana for 1 point of damage if there’s only one target. It scales much better against multiple targets. Consecration has a very good return on added spell damage. 92% over the life of the AOE. ie ~11% per tick for 92% total. Against 2+ critters, Consecrate is more mana efficient than Holy Shock.

Holy Wrath and Exorcism are only usable against demons and undead.

Exorcism is a good choice if you’re fighting one undead or demon. Rank 3: 180 mana | 217 to 245 Holy damage to an Undead or Demon target. That’s 0.82 mana for 1 point of damage. It also gets 42.86% of your spell damage.

Holy Wrath is a good choice if you’re fighting more than one undead/demon. Against one it’s VERY mana wasteful. Rank 3: 970 mana | 635 to 745 Holy damage to all Undead and Demon targets within 20 yds. That’s 1.52 mana for 1 point of damage. It scales much better against multiple targets. I uses 19.05% of your spell damage. Against 2+ critters, Holy Wrath is more mana efficient than Exorcism.

Hammer of Wrath: Only works on critters as less than 20% health. Rank 4: 550 mana | 665 to 735 Holy damage. That’s .83 mana for 1 point of damage. it gets 42% of your spell damage. It’s better than Holy Shock.. but requires you to be able to fire it off when they get down to 20% health. With the lowered cast time (.5 sec in 2.3) this will be very nice.

8. Judgement when cooldown is up.

Repeat 6, 7, 8 until done.

If I know it’s going to be a really short fight I guess I should start of with Righteousness and keep with Righteousness. In that case I should pop Avenging Wrath between #3 and #4.

In longer fights, Avenging wrath should be popped after the initial judgement.. and possibly after the first battle seal is put up (assuming righteousness or vengeance). So between #6 and #7.

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9 comments to Plan of attack

  • I’m only 67 but leveling as holy taught me a thing or two on what is useful when shooting for dealing decent damage being holy.

    BLESSINGS – I go BoW always. I hate running out of mana, and if you’re out there grinding, this will make the times you have to stop and drink fewer and further between

    AURAS – I always have Ret up unless I’m fighting something that casts fire, shadow, or frost. (There’s another option for auras. See below)

    INITIAL SEAL – If grinding mob to mob to mob, I always open with SoW. When on the grind, efficiency is the key, and the less you drink, the more time you’re spending whacking things with a mallet.

    If I’m attempting to solo an elite or in a 1v1 PVP situation, I go for crusader. Highest Rank adds 190 Holy damage to target and if you dip into ret, Imp SoC adds 15% on top of that. Hmmm… instantly add ~200 spell damage? I’ll take it! If you don’t mind drinking too often, then use this all the time

    RUN AT BADDIE – Or pull with HS if you like =)

    JUDGMENT – And don’t forget to recast seal after every one. Some people make macros to autocast SoR after they judge, I don’t. I have fast fingers

    BATTLE SEAL: SEAL OF – Righteousness for me. Being Horde, this is what I get. SoB isn’t good at all if I’m stacking spell damage and spell crit.

    OTHER – I Holy Shock whenever the timers up. Don’t forget Divine Favor to give you an auto crit with an offensive HS. I made a macro to cast this and use my trinkets at the same time to maximize its effectiveness. Since it doesn’t eat your Global Cooldown at all, this can all be done simoltaneously with your Holy Shock then Judge (Which also is unaffected by GCD) SoR for some nice burst.

    One last thing. Concerning spec, you can always go 40/0/21 to maximize your damage by going just deep enough to get Sanctity Aura. 10% increase to holy damage is a nice little treat if you’re willing to get the crappy talents to get there. Since I’m not 70 I haven’t tested to see if this is worth the points.

    This movie shows some of potential of a pure spell damage pally. Somehow, I doubt she does 158 dps in a fight. =)


  • samownall

    TBH I would go retadin rather than spelladin if I had a pally but thats just me. Spelladin will use tonnes of mana compared to retri but then its a different play style so take whatever suits you.
    Samownall – World of Warcraft Blog

  • Nibuca

    Oh, I agree entirely, if my goal was strictly DPS I’d probably try the Retribution tree (even though I think it’s kind of schizophrenic). That said, my goal is to achieve some DPS without having to respec.. and to stay as main healer for the guild. So Retribution isn’t an option.

  • Nibuca

    OH! I tried my new plan of attack.. and saw 200 DPS on humanoids.. and 230 DPS on demons!!! Horray for obsessively working out the math :)

  • Nibuca

    WRT the video.. Crits of 2k are awesome! I checked her armory and it looks like she’s got about 1065 spell damage gear on.

    I’ve got ~400 spell damage gear and I’m seeing Holy shock crits of about 1-1.1K.

    I got a whisper yesterday from someone asking if I had PVP gear and would be interested in joining their 2×2 PVP arena team. He then went on to tell me that he’d require 1600 +spell before he’d consider adding me to the team.

    I boggle at the idea of getting +1600 spell without being in a big raiding group doing SSC and Black Temple.

    Guess it’s a good thing I’m not real serious about the PVP thing.

  • I think he meant 1600 +healing…unless you knew that…1600 spell damage would be crazy!

  • Nibuca

    I think both numbers are a bit crazy (though I do think my dream gear on my pre-heroics healing list will get me to +1250 healing before Kara). +1600 means that max rank of your “little” heal would hit for ~2k. That’s unreal!

  • gt

    :O Sounds like you are grinding out a viable alternative spec for when I finally get frustrated with Protection and respec. I look forward to reading your results over time. :D

  • Nibuca

    My pleasure.. though I think Retribution is too schizophrenic for me to try. Maybe after WotLK comes out.. if Ret gets some love.