When Drotara and I were doing our 2s games to get our Conquest points for this week, our last match of the evening was against a Death Knight/Paladin. I was initially concerned due to the power and the synergy the two classes share in a PvP setting. Within a minute of the match, however, the opposing paladin was below half mana while I was sitting comfortably at 90% with several cooldowns still available and everyone all full on health.
So what went wrong? It’s not as if we were doing anything to drain his mana. He spent all of it himself, allowing us to finish the game fairly quickly as he went out of mana only a moment later. What can we do as Holy Paladins to conserve our mana while keeping our teammates alive?
Intellect and Spirit are king. A larger mana pool from Intellect grants you better calculations on your Spirit regen as well as granting more regen from Divine Plea. More Spirit means, well, more mana regen. Reforge mastery and crit into spirit. Some paladins are even reforging haste into spirit.
Use Bombs(err, Judgments) Wisely!
Blizzard clearly intends Holy Paladins to use Judgments as one of their primary methods for mana regeneration. When we judge with Seal of Insight, we gain 15% of our base mana (which is 23422 at level 85); thus granting us 3513 minus the cost of the judgment(1171) for a total of 2342 mana. If we assume you judge once every 10 seconds (rather than the 8 second cooldown to grant for other factors) that’s a return of 14053 mana every minute, or 1171 MP5.
Judgments also have other uses as well, putting us in combat against Rogues and granting us a minute long haste buff. Though if your teammate utilizes any sort of CC that breaks on damage, keep this in mind when judging as you don’t want to break a crucial trap or Polymorph. I am guilty of doing this occasionally, so make sure it is something you avoid.
Cooldowns Save Mana
Utilizing Divine Plea at crucial junctures may seem like the obvious mana cooldown, but defensive cooldowns also work as mana conservers. Are you using Divine Protection when an enemy attacks you? If not, start doing it. Use it immediately. It has a 40 second cooldown when talented, costs a pitiful 702 mana and is not on the GCD.
Can your teammate that is getting focused slow enemies? Throw them a Freedom and let them snare to peel off melee or get out of line of sight to prevent damage. Think your opponent is going to try to get you in a CC chain and blow up your teammate? Get a Hand of Sacrifice up not only to mitigate incoming damage but also to break certain CCs such as Polymorph. Are you using Hammer of Justice on an enemy? Did you use Turn Evil on that Gargoyle or big oozing transformed ghoul? Cooldowns not only let you survive, they also set you up for the long game as well, allowing you to use more mana efficient healing strategies over time.
Proper Spell Usage
We’re not in Kansas anymore. Gone are the Wrath days of having 3 healing spells to choose from, with 2 of them seeing the large bulk of PvP play. We have a much larger toolbox, and each spell carries far more ramifications than previous iterations of our class.
This is still our bread and butter spell. It costs 1873 mana, the least out of any of our heals costing mana, is instant cast and generates a holy power. Good rule of thumb is to use it when it comes off cooldown if you have less than 3 holy power up.
Instant cast, costs holy power in lieu of mana, and with 3 holy power heals for about as much as flash of light. If you have 3 holy power, odds are you want to use this. You can use this as well with only 2 holy power if you feel you need a heal but cannot cast a spell because you are moving.
Here is where things start to become more of a judgment (and I mean personal judgment, not the spell) call. Flash of Light is still a strong spell as it has 1.5 sec base cast time that heals for a pretty good amount. Plus, if you use it on a target with Beacon of Light, you generate one holy power. The problem is it has a fairly high mana cost at 6323 mana. Spamming it constantly will cause you to go oom very quickly. Definitely use it in high burst scenarios, but if incoming damage is fairly manageable, try to avoid using this. I will also occasionally cast this once on my beacon target if they need a heal, I want a holy power, and holy shock is off cooldown.
This is our filler spell. It heals for a little more than Holy Shock and has the cheap cost of 2107 mana. The problem is its prohibitive cast time. With Clarity of Purpose reducing the base cast time to 2.5 seconds, this thing can take forever to get off with fairly low throughput. That doesn’t mean there are no uses for it in PvP. This can be a great spell to top yourself off when you are cowering behind a pillar and your opponents are leaving you alone. You can also use it to top your teammate off as well as long as incoming damage is going to be low.
A high cost heal at a whopping 7026 mana with the biggest boom out of any of our spells. It is similar to Flash of Light in the sense you do not want to be spamming this or you will go oom. Another shared similarity to Flash is Divine Light generates holy power when cast on your beaconed target.
The key difference between the spells is the longer cast time of Divine Light at 2.5 sec base cast with Clarity of Purpose. However, when you crit with Holy Shock, you will proc Infusion of Light, reducing the cast time of your next Holy Light or Divine Light by 1.5 secs. This gets the spells cast time fairly close to three quarters of a second.
Not only do we get a super fast, hard hitting, mana efficient spell, the other advantage of the super fast cast is that it is highly unlikely you will get interrupted casting it. You almost always want to use this when you have the Infusion proc up.
This gets used as a “healing” spell in PvP a very small amount of the time. The preferred use of this is for the Speed of Light buff for 60% movement speed along with Hand of Freedom to substantially increase your mobility for a short amount of time. While I doubt I will ever use this in Arena to “heal”, it can occasionally be an effective spell in battlegrounds if you are in a large group of people where there is a lot of damage flying around on a high number of targets. There is a reason this AOE spell makes up a large chunk of a raiding Holy Paladin’s HPS.
Thoughts, comments, corrections, or additions, feel free to leave them in the comments!