Tag Archives: paladin

Evaluating Holy Paladins with World of Logs

The second part of my updated Guide to Evaluating Healers with World of Logs focuses on Holy Paladins. Thank you to Jacii, one of Apotheosis’s amazing Pally healers for reviewing and contributing to the post.

(This post may be easier to read, with less squishy pictures, over on the guide page).


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 great tank healers and are also very strong at healing the raid when they are grouped close together. They have a number of utility spells and cooldowns to juggle. Holy Paladins should be evaluating not just on their output but also how well they make use of their abilities.

Healing by Spell

World of Logs Paladin healing done

There 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, and passive healing from their Mastery – Illuminated Healing. They also have either Eternal Flame or Sacred Shield (level 45 talents) and one of Holy Prism, Light’s Hammer or Execution Sentence (level 90 talents). Healing from all of these spells should be seen on most fights. The only spell that is not typically used much is Flash of Light due to it’s poor mana efficiency (though it can be excellent on fights where mana doesn’t matter so much).

Top spells – A paladin’s top spells will vary based on the fight and their assignment, though Illuminated Healing will generally be at or near the top on any fight, along with Eternal Flame if the Pally has taken it.  For fights that are heaviest on tank damage Beacon should be doing a lot of the healing. When the raid is grouped up, Holy Radiance will often be one of the top heals even if the paladin is assigned to tank heal.

Overhealing – Overhealing is dependent on spell. Spells like Beacon of Light and Holy Radiance will generally have high overheal, which cannot be avoided so it is not a useful metric to look at. However targeted, single target spells such as Divine Light and Holy Shock should be low on overheal.

Notes on specific spells:

Divine Light vs. Holy Light
Two slow, direct healing spells. Divine Light costs 3x the mana and heals for 3x as much and gives Holy Power if cast on the Beacon target. 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 may be wasting mana and should be relying more on Holy Light. Paladin have so many other spells to use, and group heals that transfer through Beacon that you may not see a lot of use of either of these spells.

Holy Shock

World of Logs Paladin-Holy-Shock
Holy Shock should be used on cooldown 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. It has a 6 second cooldown, or 4 seconds with 4T14. Compare the number of direct heals to the maximum number of times it can be cast.

Holy Radiance and Daybreak
Daybreak is a buff that you get every time you cast Holy Radiance.  The buff will make your next Holy Shock cast within 6 seconds duplicate into a second heal that will heal all targets within 10 yards of the initial Holy Shock target. If Holy Radiance healing is high, but Daybreak doesn’t make up at least a few % of total healing, the Paladin is likely not using Holy shock appropriately.

Word of Glory (or Eternal Flame) and Light of Dawn

Paladin-Eternal-Flame,-Light-of-Dawn
These are the spells that use up Holy Power. Word of Glory/Eternal Flame should be used more often when tank healing or people are spread out, while Light of Dawn becomes more useful as people are grouped up, or damage is more bursty. One of these spells (or a combination of them) should make up a significant portion (20%+) of total healing. If they don’t, the Paladin may not be using their Holy Power optimally.

Lay on Hands
The 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.

Tier 3 Talents
Tier 3 gives Paladins a choice of 2 new healing spells (yes there are 3 options, but Selfless Healer is the wrong one).
Eternal Flame – This spell replaces Word of Glory, turning it into a 30 second heal over time. If the Pally has this talent, it should account for a lot of their healing, especially if they apply the HoT to as many raiders as possible.  The HoTportion of Eternal Flame transfers to the Beacon at 50%.
Sacred Shield – This provides a shield (can only be on one person at a time) which absorbs damage every 6 seconds. If the Pally takes this talent, SS should be up on their primary target all the time.
You’ll also want to check the uptimes on these spells. (See next section)

Tier 6 Talents
Paladins get a choice of 3 new heals for their Tier 6 talent. These talents have very short cooldowns, and should be used often. Use can be delayed for predictable damage, or in combination with an output cooldown.

You should see healing from one of the following:
Stay of Execution (from the talent Execution Sentence) – Single target heal over time. 1 minute cooldown. This is a good choice on fights with very heavy tank damage. You can see the number of times this was cast on the Buffs Cast screen.
Holy Prism – Can be used as a single-target heal or a small area of effect heal. 20 second cooldown. This is the only option with a mana cost.
Arcing Light (from the talent Light’s Hammer) – An AoE ground heal that lasts 17.5 seconds. 1 minute cooldown. Light’s Hammer is a good choice on fights where the raid is grouped up and more AoE healing is needed. Light’s Hammer’s heals transfer to the Beacon target at a rate of 15%.

Buffs Cast

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

Paladin-buffs-castBeacon of Light – Paladins’ signature ability. Should be up all the time. If it’s cast pre-pull and never put on a new target, Beacon will not show up here. Make sure Beacon healing is present in the Healing by Spell tab.

Eternal Flame – If specced into this, it should always be up. Look for 95%+ uptime.

Sacred Shield – If specced into this, it should always be up. There are two buffs that will show up for Sacred Shield. You want to look for spell ID 20925. Uptime should be 90%+.

Guardian of Ancient Kings – When activated, it will heal the target of your next 5 heals and everyone within 10 yards of them. 5 minute cooldown. Will generally only be used once per fight, but can be used more on long fights. This should be present on every boss fight. GoaK will show up as a pet on the Healing Done screen.

Avenging Wrath – Increases healing and damage by 20% for 20 seconds, 3 minute cooldown. This should be used often, generally 2-3 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 often, generally 2-3 times per boss depending on the length of the fight. Can be paired with AW for a super cooldown. Click the # next to each of these spells to see if they’re being used together or separately.

Holy Avenger (optional talent) – Makes Holy Power abilities do 30% more healing and generate more Holy Power for 18 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.

Devotion Aura – Reduces magic damage by 20% and prevents silences and interrupts for 6 seconds. 3 minute cooldown. This should be seen on any fight with raid-wide magic damage. The chart will tell how many people were affected by it (which will include pets and things). Click the # next to the spell to see a when and how many times it was used.

Divine Protection – Reduces magic damage taken by 40%, 40 second cooldown. With the Glyph of Divine Protection, it will also reduce physical damage taken by 20%, and will reduce the magic reduction to 20% as well. This should be used often, whenever the Paladin is taking significant damage.

Divine Shield – Used in emergencies, it makes the Paladin invulnerable to damage. It won’t be used often, but if you find the paladin is often dying without ever using it, there is a problem. DS can be used with Hand of Sacrifice to prevent unfortunate deaths..

Hand of Sacrifice – This is great for times of heavy tank damage. Paladins should be making regular use of this. It has a 2-minute cooldown, but if specced into Clemency, the spell can be cast twice before incurring a cooldown.

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.

Hand of Purity (optional talent) -  If the Pally is specced into it, you should see it used on fights with hard hitting DoTs (like bleeds or magic effects). It has a 30 second cooldown.

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.

Paladin-Power-gainsSeal of Insight – Has a chance to give mana back on melee swings. Should have 100% uptime. This does not always show up under buffs. If it doesn’t, check the Power Gains table on the Buffs Cast screen. Since the paladin will not always have the opportunity to melee the boss, this may not be a big source of mana.

Divine Plea – Restores mana over 9 seconds at the cost of reduced healing, 2 minute cooldown. If glyphed, the spell has no healing penalty, but a 5 second cast time. This should be used often. If a paladin complains about running oom, but doesn’t use this close to on cooldown, there is a problem.

Comparison of Healing Spells by Class

A while back I wrote a post and made a whole lot of charts that compared each healing class in terms of what type of heals and abilities were available to them. People seemed to find it handy, so I’ve made a new charts for Mists.

I hope they will be helpful if you’re thinking of starting a new healer or just want to better understand the capabilities of the rest of your healing team.

Unfotunately, the charts are far too wide to fit into a post, so you’ll have to go to the new page I created here:

Comparison of Healing Spells by Class – Mists of Pandaria

5.0.4 and You – All Classes Edition

Last week I was talking to the guys on the Leetsauced Podcast and Logan expressed the opinion that there was a lack of good, informative WoW content on blogs lately. I disagreed and thought that while we were in a bit of a dry spell, as soon as 5.0.4 hit, we’d have all kinds of bloggers making posts about how to best play your class/spec. Here’s what I’ve found.

If you’ve written a guide and I have not included it here, please let me know and I will add it. Thanks to Ceraphus from Variant Avatar, who has also been on the lookout for class guides this week.

First, some really helpful 5.0.4 information for everyone:
Blizzard’s Patch 5.0.4 Survival Guide
Addons for 5.0.4 and where to get them – WoW Insider

If my list of blog posts link doesn’t include your class, take a look at one of these sites, as they have covered (or will soon have covered) all classes and specs:
MMO Melting Pot Patch 5.0 Class Guides
Icy Veins Class Guides
WoW Insider 5.0.4 Guides

Death Knight

Unholy Death Knights in 5.0.4 – Variant Avatar
Blood Death Knights for Patch 5.0.4 – Variant Avatar
DK talents, Just in time for 5.0 – Warcraft of the Worlds

Druid

Balance
Moonkin 5.0 Survival Guide for Mists – Restokin
Balance Druid Changes in Patch 5.0 – The Fluid Druid
Level 85 Patch 5.0.4 Survival Guide – Gray Matter

Feral
Feral Druid Changes in Patch 5.0 – The Fluid Druid

Guardian
Guardian – Patch 5.0.4 Survival Guide – The Inconspicuous Bear
Guardian Druid Changes in Patch 5.0 – The Fluid Druid

Resto
What Resto Druids Need to Know for 5.0.4 – Cannot be Tamed
5.0.4 Resto Druid FAQ – Falling Leaves and Wings
Resto 85 Healing in 5.0 – Restokin
Druid Changes – Healiocentric
Restoration Druid Changes in Patch 5.0 – The Fluid Druid

Hunter

The Hunter’s Guide to 5.04 – Marks 365
A mapping of glyphs from Cataclysm to Mists of Pandaria – Esoth
A mapping of talents from Cataclysm to Mists of Pandaria – Esoth

Mage

5.0.4 Mage – Manaflask

Paladin

Holy
5.0 & You, Talents, Glyphs and Playstyle Changes at 85 – Kurn’s Corner
How to Holy Paladin in Patch 5.0 – Healbot
Holy Paladin Talents in 5.0 Part 1 & Part 2 – Blessing of Kings

Protection
Patch 5.0.4 Round-Up – Sacred Duty

Priest

Discipline
5.0.4 Disc Healing for Dummies – Heal Meh
5.0.x and Mists of Pandaria – World of Matticus

Holy
5.0.x and Mists of Pandaria – World of Matticus

Shadow
My Shadow Priests’ Patch 5.0 Talents and Changes in Playstyle – Bible of Dreams
5.0.4 is here, for Shadow Priests, is the sky falling? – Shard’s Thoughts

Rogue

Playing a Rogue in Mists of Pandaria – Forever a Noob
Rogue Glyphs in Mists 5.0.4 – PVE Rogues
An Assassin’s Guide to 5.0.4 – Tikari’s Tricks of the Trade
Combat Rogue Guide – Sinnaabun, Accession Guild
Mists of Pandaria Rogue Guide – PVE Rogues

Shaman

Enhancement
Enhancement Primer – Totemspot

Elemental
5.0.4 Elemental Shaman Changes – Elemental Entropy
Elemental Primer – Totemspot

Resto
The Resto Shaman Pocket Guide to 5.0.4 – Life in Group 5
Patch 5.0.4 Shaman Talents Review – Spiritwalker’s Grace
How to Resto Shaman in Patch 5.0 – Healbot
Shaman Changes – Healiocentric

Warlock

Warlock Changes in 5.0.4 – Spellbound

Warrior

Protection
Prot Warrior Changes for 5.0.4 – Elemental Entropy

Where are all the Mages, Ret Pallies, and dps Warriors at?

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.

Recommended Reading

I’ve been having a case of writer’s block (blogger’s block?) lately. I’m working on a few posts but they’re taking quite a while and I’ve been busy with other things. So here are some interesting posts from other healers of every flavor that I think are worth a read. (Also, if you have any blog topic ideas for me, I’d love to hear them!)

Zinn at Jinxed Thoughts shares some information on secondary stat choices for disc priests.

Oestrus at The Stories of O tells everything you ever wanted to know about Chakra but were afraid to ask.

Jadiera at Totem Forest gives an overview of the cooldowns currently available to healing classes and considers what kind of cooldown would benefit Shaman most.

Keeva at Tree Bark Jacket tells druids how to make the most of Innervate, including tips on Innervate-swapping and ideas for Power Auras to help keep track.

Adgamorix at Divine Plea doesn’t believe in RNG and encourages people to take responsibility when things go wrong in raids.

Last, but not least, Windsoar at Jaded Alt has written raid guides for every 10-man tier 11 encounter. The guides are clear, concise and outline both the boss abilities and tips for the raid. Check them out!

 

Charlie says "click the links"

Charlie says "Click the links!"

Or else.

 

Comparison of Healing Spells by Class

As I’ve been leveling my priest I’ve been slightly overwhelmed by the amount of healing spells I have. On my druid, I seem to have the perfect number of healing spells to fill up all my click-bindings but on my priest, I’ve run out – and I’m not even 80 yet. Out of curiosity I dug through wowhead to compare how many spells each of the healing classes has and how they differ in function. If you’re thinking of starting a new healer or just want to better understand the capabilities of the rest of your healing team, continue reading:

Basic Heals

Each healing class a slow, cheap, small heal; a fast, expensive, small heal; and a slow, expensive, large heal.

Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman
Slow, cheap heal Nourish Holy Light Heal Heal Healing Wave
Fast, expensive heal Regrowth Flash of Light Flash Heal Flash Heal Healing Surge
Large, expensive heal Healing Touch Divine Light Greater Heal Greater Heal Greater Healing Wave

In each case, paladins get the biggest heal in the category, followed by priests. The druid direct heals are the smallest, but both Nourish and Regrowth get other benefits. Shaman heals are also boosted by other abilities.

AoE and Multi-target Heals

Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman
No cooldown Light of Dawn

Prayer of Healing

Holy Nova

Prayer of Healing

Holy Nova

Chain Heal

Healing Stream Totem

Short cooldown

Wild Growth

Efflor-escence*

Circle of Healing Healing Rain
Medium cooldown Holy Radiance Holy Word: Sanctuary
Long cooldown Tranquility Divine Hymn Divine Hymn

Druids multi-target spells are HoT-based. Efflorescence isn’t technically a spell, it is a area-based healing ability that procs from casting Swiftmend. Tranquility is a good emergency heal when a number of people are low on health.

Paladins bring something new to the game with their AoE. For these spells, the paladin’s position and facing are very important in order to make the most of the heals.

Disc priests get one substantial group-based heal, a small area-based heal and a big emergency heal.

Holy priests get the widest variety of multi-target heals. They get all the spells a disc priest has plus a smart-heal and an area-based healing effect.

Shaman get a targetted smart heal that jumps to four players, a totem that provides passive healing to their party, and an area-based heal.

Other Spells

Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman
HoTs

Rejuvenation

Lifebloom

Renew Renew Riptide
Direct heals Swiftmend

Holy Shock

Word of Glory

Binding Heal

Penance

Smite*

Binding Heal

Desperate Prayer

Holy Word: Serenity

(Riptide)

Unleash Elements

Absorbs Power Word: Shield Power Word: Shield
Other Beacon of Light Prayer of Mending

Prayer of Mending

Lightwell

Earth Shield

Totems

Debuff Removal Remove Corruption Cleanse

Cure Disease

Dispel Magic

Mass Dispel

Cure Disease

Dispel Magic

Mass Dispel

Cleanse Spirit

Druids get two extra HoTs to supplement their basic and AoE heals. They also get a medium-sized instant heal that is dependant on a rejuv or regrowth being up on the target. They have the ability to remove poisons, curses and magic.

Paladins have two instant heals and Beacon of Light, which heals the selected raid member for 50% of the healing the paladin does on anyone else. Through Beacon and Protector of the Innocent (talent), paladins are always healing three people at once. Paladins can remove poison, disease and magic.

Priests get a little bit of everything: a HoT, a shield, a spell that heals themselves and one other person, and a spell that jumps from person to person as they take damage. Disc priests get Penance, a channeled spell that heals a single target 3 times in rapid succession, and can also heal with Smite if specced into Atonement. Holy priests get two instant heals; one they can use on anyone and one they can only use on themselves. They also get Lightwell, which is placed on the field and lets others heal themselves. Priests can get rid of diseases and magic.

Shaman get a combination instant heal/HoT in Riptide, which also acts as a boost to most of their other spells because of Tidal Waves, and another instant heal which buffs their next spell. They also get Earth Shield, which has multiple charges and will heal the target it is placed on whenever they take damage. Totems are also a big part of being a shaman and they can provide all kinds of different buffs, party healing or damage mitigation. Shamans can get rid of curses and magic.

Cooldowns

Spell Function Druid Paladin Discipline Priest Holy Priest Shaman
Output boosts Tree of Life

Avenging Wrath


Divine Favour

Archangel*

Inner Focus

Power Infusion

Chakra
Emergency Nature’s Swiftness Lay on Hands Guardian Spirit Nature’s Swiftness
Damage mitigation

Hand of Protection

Hand of Sacrifice

Aura Mastery

Pain Suppression

Power Word: Barrier

Mana return Innervate Divine Plea

Hymn of Hope

Shadowfiend

Hymn of Hope

Shadowfiend

Mana Tide Totem

Lightning Bolt*

Other Leap of Faith Leap of Faith Spiritwalker’s Grace

Druids are a little light on cooldown abilities – they have one cooldown that increases their healing and modifies some of their spells to make them stronger. They also have an emergency heal that can be used to make another healing spell instant. For mana regen, they have Innervate which can be cast on themselves, or given to someone else.

Paladins have a variety of cooldowns. Two output cooldowns increase healing, haste and crit. They also have a huge emergency heal with a long cooldown and three different cooldowns that mitigate damage on the raid. Divine Plea gives mana return at the cost of healing output.

Disc priests have a spell that makes their next heal free and more likely to crit, a spell that decreases spell cast times and mana cost and, if specced into it, also have a spell to increase their healing output that is based around using smite. They have two damage mitigation spells, one for a single player, and one for a group that is area-based. Hymn of Hope returns mana to the people in raid who need it most and Shadowfind restores mana to the priest. Leap of Faith is a ‘get out of stupid’ card that can be used on another player.

Holy Priests get an output bonus with Chakra, which modifies and strengthens some of their other spells. Guardian Spirit will increase the healing on one raid member and prevent them from dying. Like disc priests, holy priests also get Hymn, Shadowfiend and Leap of Faith.

Shaman, like druids, are also a little light on cooldowns. Their emergency spell makes a heal instant. They also have a spell that lets them continue casting spells while moving. For mana regen they have Mana Tide, which increases the spirit their party (which increase mana regen for healers), and if they are specced into Teluric Currents, Lightning Bolt provides mana return for the shaman.

Altoholic?

Over the last couple months I’ve been a little bored in WoW, as many people seem to be. I am quickly running out of things I want to do on my mains. Last week I decided to dust off my alts and did some questing and random dungeons for a bit of a change. I’ve never been that into alts. I like to build up my main as much as possible, but was never willing to spend a whole lot of time on secondary characters. Now that I’m actually playing my alts, I’m really having a blast.

One of my goals before the xpac is to get a 4th character to level 80, but I don’t know who it will be. There are a few contenders:

Penthesilia – Level 77 Draenei protection warrior

Penthesilia - Draenei protection warrior

My warrior has a bit of an advantage, being the highest level of my alts. She’s also a tank, so the quick queue times for randoms are very nice. Except for a brief stint as Arms in BC, Penth is all prot, all the time. Leveling prot from 1 – 60 was…interesting. Who am I kidding? It was horrific and I must have been some kind of masochist to do it. Now I find leveling as prot quite enjoyable. It’s fun to shield slam my way through mobs and be able to take on whole packs at a time. Prot warriors also have a lot of abilities to use. I like pushing lots of buttons.

I’ve become much better at tanking instances over the last couple times I’ve played. At first the prospect of tanking dungeons with a group of players I didn’t know was daunting. I was always nervous I would suck at holding aggro or be difficult to heal. I’ve gotten much more comfortable with it now. I rarely forget my cooldowns, and I’ve become quicker on taunts when some fool mage doesn’t understand that the skull over one mob’s head means “kill me first!” I even wait for healer mana before pulling.

Feyyd – Level 76 Draenei fire mage

Feyyd - Draenei fire mage

My mage is fun, but squishy. I’m quite erratic in terms of how well I play my mage. When I’m in a dungeon, I do everything I can to stay alive and help keep others alive. I’m always using my Ice Block, or Frost Nova to keep mobs away. I like to Invis. I even use my Gift of the Naaru to help heal people when I can (I can’t help it). When I’m questing alone though, I’m completely suicidal. I run head first into packs of mobs, pulling as many as I can. I completely forget about my life-saving abilities. I die a lot. I’m definitely more interested in (and better at) dungeons than solo stuff on my mage. It’s fun to DoT up a group of mobs with Living Bomb and watching the explosions go off. Fire good.

Lamens – Level 70 Blood Elf ret/holy paladin

Lamens - Blood Elf paladin

Leveling progress on my Paladin has stalled. I burned through Azeroth and Outlands then arrived at Howling Fjord and lost interest. I’m quite tired of the Northrend starting zones after doing them on four other characters. While I enjoy the utility of the paladin, Lamens doesn’t get played much. Most of my experiences with the low level random dungeons horde-side have been negative. Add 40 minute queues to that, and they become a bit of a chore.

I’m trying to build up my healing set so it’s easier to get into randoms. I healed for the first time last week and it was an interesting experience. The healing style is completely different from my druid or shaman, so it was a nice change.

Apocalyss – Level 33 Draenei shadow priest

Apocalyss - Draenei shadow priest

I created this character a couple years ago, but she was abandoned shortly after. However, my fiance rolled a new druid recently and was looking for a leveling partner. I was happy to oblige by dusting off my priest. I’m really liking it. DoTs are great, I’ve been having lots of fun Psychic Screaming mobs in dungeons and Mind Control is cute too. I also love Power Word: Shield. I can’t wait to get to level 40 and dual-spec Disclipline.

There are only two problems I’m having so far with my priest. First, no AoE until level 75?!? Ahh! Also, there are five different things to buff yourself with every 30 minutes (more often for some) which gets a little tedious. Regardless of those two things, the priest is a lot of fun and it’s nice to play with my sweetie. I predict Apocalyss will level up very quickly.

I also have one alt that is level 80 who I don’t play much:

Hettu - Level 80 Tauren restoration shaman

Hettu - Tauren restoration shaman

One of these things is not like the others…

Hettu was my main Horde character from the beginning of Wrath until midway through Ulduar. I enjoyed shaman healing for a while. Direct, non-instant healing was interesting to master after druid healing for so long. I really liked the Lesser Healing Wave/Riptide spot healing approach. Then came the game breaker. Chain Heal was buffed, and Tidal Waves no longer reduced the cast time of LHW. It now seemed like there was little reason to cast anything but Chain Heal. That was not my idea of a good time. It also didn’t help that my guild usually ran with 7-8 healers, so healing was a little dull. I switched back to my hunter as my main, and poor Hettu was forgotten.