Monday, December 29, 2008

[Paladin] Relearning how to Holy DPS

My druid is sitting pretty in almost all purples and three pieces of T7, so I've started questing with Gillien again. Thanks to more instance runs with guildie alts I've dinged 71 with him and finally learned that oh-so-tasty Divine Plea.

Solo-ing is a lot different from running instances though, especially for a holy paladin (even one who frequently steps into tanking gear) so there was a little relearning how to dps. I hadn't done much of it ever since the 3.0.2 patch, so I was a little out of shape.

First of all, Holy Shock is much more bread-and-butter than it used to be. A shock every six seconds works out much better than one every fifteen. I use this every cooldown unless the enemy is going to die in a judgement or one or two auto-attacks.

Next I use Seal of Righteousness. Seal of Corruption/Vengeance is nice for tanking, but it gets more bang from AP than spellpower whereas the reverse is true for Seal of Righteousness. Also, there's no need to wait for Righteousness to stack five times to get the most damage out of it (since hopefully enemies are dying fast enough that even using Vengeance to five stacks it would not be on the mob for very long).

I'm tempted to consider building a ret set to see if it's more effective for a holy pally to solo using Seal of Blood in a ret set than doing spell damage in a holy set, but my bags are cramped enough with healing, tanking, (eventually) pvp gear, and misc items to switch in and out that I'm really not sure where I'll find the space to keep one.

Currently when I judge I'm using Judgement of Wisdom, and of course Justice for any running mobs, but now that I have Divine Plea, which is usable once a minute, I'm considering using Judgement of Light. My health bar goes down faster than my mana bar these days, even when I'm using Holy Shock every cooldown.

Another thing I've come to appreciate is: Divine Favor + Holy Shock = more dps. Seriously Divine Favor isn't normally used for healing while solo-ing. Divine Shield is our "uh-oh" button. So why not do a little more damage? I really don't feel like I'm killing things that much slower with Gillien that I did with my moonkin, and a big part of that is the shorter cooldown on Holy Shock. I get to push buttons more often and it keeps me more engaged that watching myself auto-attack until something comes off cooldown.

Consecration is pretty expensive now that there is no downranking, but it's still decent if fighting three or more mobs at once. I don't bother for only two. Retribution Aura keeps them entertained well enough.

And if that's not enough dps and mana is not a problem, Holy Wrath now works on everything! Sure, it doesn't stun things that aren't demons or undead and it has a nasty 30 second cooldown, but that's another AoE in our arsenal.

For pulling a mob we have a much better tool in Enlightened Judgements. Holy Shock's 20 yard range was sometimes only mildly more convenient than a judgement's 10 yard range, but EJ lets us judge from 30 yards, as far as most casters who've yet to spec for improved range.

Additionally, Judgements of the Pure gives us both casting and melee haste from judging, which we will be doing while dpsing. More haste means faster killing. We traditionally have taken long enough to kill things as is, so why take any longer?

I admit leveling as holy will likely become a dying art once dual specs are implemented, but in the meantime there's no reason not to learn how to do good output while playing the spec that gives us the most entertainment.


Pangoria Fallstar said...

I've been having a similar problem relearning how to dps as a resto Shaman.

I've been trying to aoe the animal packs in the Borean/Fjord, and it's mostly Chain Lightning, Shock, Lightning Bolt them to me (cause I have to do damage or else my fire totem gets the credit and I get nothing), followed by Fire Nova to Magma totem, while keeping myself up, and keeping up water shield so I have mana. Faster then taking them one at a time.

In PVP situations it gets harder. And I'm still figuring that out.

Hana said...

Ugh... I hate trying to kill things as a holy paladin in PvP. If I'm not caught off-guard I may have a chance to simply outlast my opponent, but I can't outburst a burst dps class.

If it's a BG or arena I just try to keep myself healed and hope someone pulls them off me.

I totally understand about chain pulling mobs because it's faster to kill a group than one at a time. I used to do that all the time because of Consecrate and Ret Aura, but with the lowered CD on Holy Shock single kills aren't as bad for holy paladins anymore.