Evaluating Holy Paladins with World of Logs

This is part of a series about using World of Logs to evaluate raiders.

First, a big thank-you to my guildmate Nazaniel and Kurnmogh from Kurn’s Corner for sharing their pally secrets and helping me with this guide.

Here are specific things to look for when analyzing holy paladin logs. It’s best to look at specific kills or attempts in order to get meaningful numbers.

Healing Done

Paladins are masters of tank healing and have a lot of utility spells and cooldowns to juggle. More than straight healing output, the mark of a good paladin comes from how well they make use of their abilities.

Player Details

Healing by Spell

World of Logs - Paladin healing by spellThere are a number of things to look for on this screen, including:

Spell selection – Is the paladin using all their available spells?

Paladins have: Divine Light, Holy Light, Beacon of Light, Holy Shock, Holy Radiance, Word of Glory, Light of Dawn, Lay on Hands, plus passive healing from Protector of the Innocent and Illuminated Healing. Healing from all of these spells should be seen on most fights. The only spell that is not typically used much, if at all, is Flash of Light due to it’s poor mana efficiency.

Top 3 spells – A paladin’s top spells will vary based on the fight and their assignment. For fights that are heaviest on tank damage (Omnitron, Nefarian, Halfus) the top spells will usually be: Divine Light, Holy Light and Beacon of Light, followed closely by Holy Shock.

As raid damage gets heavier (Magmaw, Cho’gall) Holy Radiance will generally creep up into the top 3, along with Light of Dawn (though this will generally only be prevalent in 25s). The more grouped up the raid is, the more effective these spells are.

Notes on specific spells:

Divine Light vs. Holy Light

World of Logs - Divine Light and Holy LightTwo slow, direct healing spells, but one costs 3x the mana and heals for 3x as much. The amount these spells are used will depend on the fight and damage taken. Check the amount of overheal on these two spells. If the overhealing on Divine Light is too high (nearing or over 40%), the paladin is wasting mana and should be relying more on Holy Light.

Holy Shock

Holy Shock should be used very often to maximize Holy Power gains. Though it won’t be on top in terms of healing done, it should be near the top in terms of number of times it is cast.

Word of Glory and Light of Dawn

World of Logs - Light of Dawn and Word of GloryThese are basically free spells and should be used frequently. Word of Glory is most likely to have higher use in a 10-man, and Light of Dawn will likely be used more in a 25.

Lay on Hands

World of Logs - Holy LightThe first thing to look for is whether Lay on Hands was used at all. In addition to providing a huge amount of healing, with Glyph of Divinity LoH also returns mana.

Though it may not get used on every fight, it should be used on most fights. A lack of LoH over a raid night should set off warning bells.

Guardian of Ancient Kings

This will show up as a pet on the Healing Done screen. When activated, it will heal the target of your next 5 heals and everyone within 10 yards of them. This should be present on every boss fight.

Buffs Cast

This screen will tell you how often a paladin is using their cooldowns, along with the uptime on key abilities.

World of Logs - Holy Paladin buffs castAura – Whether it’s Concentration, Resistance, Devotion or Retribution, an Aura should be up 100% of the time.

Beacon of Light – Paladins’ signature ability. Ideal uptime is 100%.

Judgements of the Pure – Increases casting speed for 1 minute after a Judgement. The goal is to have this up 100% of the time, though it’s generally a couple percent less (due to range issues, waiting a few seconds at the start of the fight, etc.).

World of Logs - Holy Paladin power gainsSeal of Insight – Gives the paladin mana back on melee swings and judgements. Should be up 100% of the time. This does not always show up under buffs. If it doesn’t, check the Power Gains table on the Buffs Cast screen. Seal of Insight should be the number 1 source of mana return.

Conviction – When properly talented this increases healing done by 3% and
stacks three times. Uptime is based on how often a paladin crits. This should have an uptime of 90% or above. If the uptime is much lower than 85%, your paladin needs a bit more crit to help ensure this is constantly running.

Avenging Wrath – Increases healing by 20% for 20 seconds, 2 minute cooldown with talents. This should be used as often as possible. Generally 2-4 times per boss depending on the length of the fight.

Divine Favor – Increases haste and crit chance by 20% for 20 seconds, 3 minute cooldown. This should be used as often as possible. Generally 2-3 times per boss depending on the length of the fight.

Divine Plea – Restores mana over 9 seconds at the cost of reduced healing, 2 minute cooldown. The reduction in healing means it’s best used during down times, so it won’t necessarily be used on cooldown. If a paladin complains about running oom, but doesn’t use this often, there is a problem. Avenging Wrath and Divine Favor can be used to offset the healing reduction.

Divine Protection – Reduces damage taken by 20%, 40 second cooldown with correct talents. This should be used often, but not necessarily on cooldown. Check my guide to Barkskin in Tier 11, as all the uses apply to Divine Protection as well. There is a glyph for this which removes the physical damage compontent and doubles the magic damage reduction, making it extremely useful on fights like Nefarian.

Aura Mastery – Doubles the effect of your Aura. Is very handy to use this with Resistance Aura on fights with shadow, fire or frost damage, or with Concentration Aura to make the raid temporarily immune to silences and interrupts. It should be used regularly on fights where these effects are helpful.

Hand of Sacrifice – This is great for times of heavy tank damage. Paladins should be making regular use of this.

Divine Shield – Used in emergencies. It won’t be used often, but if you find the paladin is often dying without ever using it, there is a problem.

Hand of Salvation/Protection/Freedom – These are situational spells. They probably won’t be used too often, but I see their proactive use as a sign of excellent raid awareness.

Trinkets – If the paladin has an on-use trinket equipped, check the cooldown on it and the amount of times used. They should be used the maximum amount possible.

10 responses to “Evaluating Holy Paladins with World of Logs

  1. Well done! And good call on Divine Protection. I had actually written it off as “if I’m going to pick a forbearance shield, I’ll got with Divine Shield”, completely forgetting the Divine Protection doesn’t cause forbearance anymore. Totally going to use it all the time from now on!

    Another thing I like to look for is spell combinations. You mentioned a bit with Divine Plea and AW/DF. I look for combinations with Holy Radiance too. While they don’t make or break a paladin, if they can time a healing boosting with the Holy Radiances sometimes, it shows a good understanding of the class.

    And the right Aura with Aura Mastery! I know you touched on it a bit, but I want to reinforce the point. Using the wrong Aura with Aura Master is such a common mistake that I actually *look* for it when evaluating a holy pally. You wouldn’t believe how often paladins use Retribution Aura on non-faceroll fights, or Concentration aura on fights with no silences (and, while I can’t speak for hardmodes, all the fights I know of with silences are also high elemental damage fights where Resistance Aura with Aura Mastery is more helpful.)

    Checking spell timing is good too. Holy Radiance and Guardian of the Ancient Kings are best used when grouped together. Light of Dawn should be hitting at least 4 targets (the log browser can help uncover that).
    Ophelie recently posted..Blizzcon Hype

    • Thanks Ophelie :)

      I tried to limit the post to things you could find out quickly, but all the spell combinations you mention should be really helpful for those willing to put in a little extra time and effort with the log browser.

      Good point about Aura Mastery.

    • Just to make it 100% clear because I’m having terrible visions of new holy pallies ignoring Conc Aura – Concentration Aura is the go-to aura for most fights because of the reduction in cast-time loss for the entire raid when they take damage. However, Aura Mastery should only be used *with* Conc Aura on fights with silences… otherwise if the fight has a lot of elemental damage, a Resistance Aura/Aura Mastery macro is helpful :) (I know that’s what Ophelie said, but the thought of it being misinterpreted scares me :) )

      Ophelie – I’m curious to know why you would use HR and Guardian at the same time as Guardian doesn’t affect HR heals. Do you mean to use it to aid you in getting everyone up faster? I tend to use it when I know heavy tank damage is coming in advance and I need to get the tank up quickly – Chimaeron double attack tank, H Halfus stacks building, tank coming back to the green platform on Conclave, stacks getting high on Al’Akir, etc.

      • I misworded my sentence about HR and Guardian. I meant that both of them are better when the raid is grouped up.

        I personally prefer Resistance Aura over Concentration Aura, except on fights where there’s no elemental damage. I’d rather people occasionally lose a bit of cast time than take more damage throughout the fight. If there are several pallies in the group, one of the non-holy pallies can put up Concentration.

        I do need to look more into pushbacks though. As a healer, I never notice them unless I’m getting directly beaten on, so I’m not too sure which kind of attacks cause cause pushbacks and which don’t.

  2. Thank you thank you thank you for this. I was wondering what was up with the healer my raid team PUGged last night, and seeing the break downs (lots of Flash Of Light, no Judgements, miserable Conviction uptime) clued me in to why he was OOM so much.

  3. Thomas Baldwin

    This is great! I’d love to see such guides for every class/spec! As someone who doesn’t have a bunch of different classes at cap, I feel like I am really handicapped in knowing how other classes can/should operate. I’ve been trying to help our guild get further along in our progression (9/12 so far) but this lack of knowledge on what to look for in WoL really hurts me. I’m going to solicit other members of the guild to write up such posts for their own class. If anyone knows where more such guides might exist, please comment!

    Thanks again for the great post!

    • Thanks! I haven’t seen any other guides to WoL like this, but I plan on doing them for all the healing classes. I might address dps too if I’m feeling particuarly ambitious.

  4. These guides are amazing. I hope you do make all healing classes! I would love them for any other classes as well, but these that you have made are wonderful!

    • Thanks Bear :)

      I am currently writing one for Disc Priests. Holy Priests and Shaman will get written at some point too, but it takes me a while to put them together.