If you don’t already know from the occasional mention of my character by Drotara in his blog, I’m Freshmaker; a Blood Elf Holy Paladin. With my return to a computer with a copy of Cataclysm on it after the holiday break, I’ve managed to start doing the one thing I enjoy the most in WoW: PvP. When I hit max level on my first character, Warbull, the very first thing I started doing was battlegrounds. Don’t get me wrong, PvE is definitely fun, especially when you’re with friends, but my mind thrives on applying strategy in competitions. When I first started leveling my paladin, I did it with the intention of being a tank.
When I hit max level though, I found that speccing holy and healing instances was a much quicker route to running through dungeons. Arathos (Drotara’s death knight) and I tried a couple arena games early on, and we got crushed. We then shelved PvP for the most part until season 7; which was definitely the worst season to start doing arena as a 2s team with the removal of titles for the bracket along with some of the higher tier PvP gear rewards.
On top of that, Holy Paladins and Death Knights got hit by several nerfs before and during that season. Nonetheless, we pushed through and managed to climb to a modest 2100 rating to let us get all the gear available to us. After that, I took a brief hiatus from WoW. Now with Cataclysm, Drotara (on his Warrior Dratara) (Dro’s Note: My gear is still laughable, cut me some slack. Heh), myself and another friend on his Death Knight Demigawd, have already begun our attempt to climb the 3v3 ladder with a fairly standard TSG comp.
Speccing for Holy PvP
My main focus for this introductory article is going to be on talents and glyphs. Here’s my current PvP spec: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#scIozrkuufoobZcr:aVcfzkMzc. A lot of this is obvious stuff if you’ve been playing holy at all since 4.0 hit, but I’ll go over some of the less obvious choices that I made and why:
3/3 Protector of the Innocent vs 1/2 Last Word: I considered swapping 1 point from protector into last word as a powerful way to get a low health bar back up, but I think the self heal is still too strong versus any sort of residual AoE damage along with the synergy the talent has with beacon of light.
0/2 Denounce: I debated for a long time about trying to squeeze Denounce into this spec since in the past paladins have had very little in the way of offensive abilities, and with Exorcism being a fairly powerful nuke, it seemed like a possible way to help my partners apply pressure. However, after watching several arena videos from holy paladins, it looks like we’re going to be spending most of our time healing, dispelling, popping cooldowns, all the things to enable our teammates to line up kills.
1/2 Enlightened Judgements: With 2 points in Improved Judgement, this makes the range of your judgements 35 yards. The extra 5 yards from the 2nd point would be nice, but ultimately not necessary. 1 point gives you enough hit rating for PvP to allow your judgements and hammers to land 100% of the time.
1/2 Blessed Life: For 1 point, this talent is awesome. Free holy power? Yes please. With the internal cooldown, you really only need 1 point to get full mileage.
0/1 Light of Dawn: I really do not like this talent, even in PvE. Although I did my first Baradin Hold the other night and this thing was doing work. But in arena, when you’ve only got 2-3 targets and odds are you can’t always get this lined up to hit everyone AND the recent 40% nerf, it is a definite waste of a talent point. You would much rather be spending Holy Power on Word of Glory, especially since it is improved via talents and glyphs. A real shame too, since this is our 31 pointer.
1/3 Divinity: An obviously strong 1st tier talent in the prot tree. Surprisingly enough, it’s in stiff competition with several other tier 1 off tree talents. If I did not have 2/2 Guardian’s Favor, this would likely be maxed.
2/2 Guardian’s Favor: Here is where I stray from a majority of common choices in other holy PvP specs. My reasoning is that I want to help my teammates to line up kills on opposing players. Since they are both melee, Hand of Freedom is arguably one of the strongest tools we have available to get them mobile. Freedom is also an excellent defensive ability for you as well. Couple it with Speed of Light from Holy Radiance and you’ll be zipping away from enemies in no time. The lowered cooldown on Hand of Protection is a nice plus too.
Prime Glyphs: Holy Shock, Seal of Insight, Word of Glory. These should be pretty obvious. The only other real choice is Divine Favor, but I prefer the static bumps over a little extra time on a 3 minute cooldown.
Major Glyphs: There is a little more flexibility in this tier, and to be honest, I am not 100% set on the ones I have right now, but I can at least explain my justification for choosing them. Cleansing is arguably a must have, as it is still an excellent ability both defensively and offensively, removing DoTs, Polymorph, fears, etc. It is still a very potent tool, even in light of its relatively increased cost. I really like the Hammer of Justice glyph as it allows you to be just a bit farther to get those crucial stuns off. Divine Plea is the one I am not sure on for PvP, as I do not have the Turn Evil glyph in lieu of it. Instant Undead/Demon fears are potent against Death Knights and Warlocks, but mana regen can definitely be an issue in any sort of game lasting more than a few minutes.
Questions, criticism, comments? Post them below.