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Talent Guide: Holy (Updated for 2.0)
The holy tree focuses mostly on healing
Tier 1: Divine Strength, Divine Intellect
Divine Strength (5/5), increases strength by 2/4/6/8/10%
Completely straightforward ability here, increases your strength (and therefore your attack power) by a significant percent. This talent is useful mostly to 31 point retribution paladins, for other paladins building holy I recommend Divine Intellect. 31 point retribution paladins should get both.
Divine Intellect (5/5), increases intellect by 2/4/6/8/10%
Also completely straightforward ability, increases your intellect (and therefore mana and spell critical chance) by a significant percent. The best tier-1 holy talent.
Tier 2: Spiritual Focus, Improved Seal of Righteousness
Spiritual Focus (5/5), decreases chance to be interrupted by taking damage when casting Flash of Light and Holy Light by 14/28/42/56/70%
This talent is the bread-and-butter of PvP healing for a paladin, and certainly doesn’t hurt PvE. Combined with Concentration Aura (which is an additive bonus), a paladin will have a 100% chance to avoid interruption when casting their heals, so all you will have to worry about is the various counter spells in the game (Kick, Counterspell, Pummel, Shield Bash, Earth Shock, Feral Charge, etc…). The best tier-2 holy talent
Improved Seal of Righteousness (5/5), increases damage dealt by Seal of Righteousness by 3/6/9/12/15%
A very weak talent, possibly the weakest in the holy tree. Only get this if you’re a tank. It works exactly as advertised.
Tier 3: Healing Light, Aura Mastery, Improved Lay on Hands, Unyielding Faith
Healing Light (3/3), increases the amount healed by Holy Light and Flash of Light by 4/8/12%
Very nice talent. Only increases the base healing of the heals, so it does not scale with +healing gear, but it increases the amount of healing the paladin deals by a great enough deal that it’s still very worth it even for a paladin with extraordinary healing gear. 3/3 it if you’re going higher then tier-3 in the holy tree
Aura Mastery (1/1), Increases the range of your Auras to 40 yards
Yawn… boring. I see no strong reason to pick this talent up unless, as you play, you find that your aura range is wanting.
Improved Lay on Hands (2/2), gives the target of your Lay on Hands spell a 15/30% bonus to their armor value from items for 2 min. In addition, the cooldown for your Lay on Hands spell is reduced by 10/20 min.
As powerful a talent as this is, the cooldown of your Lay on Hands will still be 40 minutes. I recomment most paladins skip this talent, although certain endgame raid guilds use the armor bonus to protect warriors from various enraging bosses.
Unyielding Faith (2/2), increases your chance to resist Fear and Disorient effects by an additional 5/10%.
Basically this talent is used to help resist fear. This is where you should throw in a point to finish tier-3 holy if you intend on building to tier-4 and above, even though it’s not a hugely powerful talent.
Tier 4: Illumination (5/5), Improved Blessing of Wisdom (2/2)
Illumination, (5/5), After getting a critical effect from your Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Holy Shock heal spell, gives you a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to gain Mana equal to the base cost of the spell.
This talent is absolutely the most amazing thing a paladin can get for healing in raids. It allows a paladin to focus on spell crit gear to increase both the amount they heal and the time they can heal. If you’re speccing holy to heal, get this talent. Note that it only returns mana on Holy Shock heals, not Holy Shock critical damage.
Improved Blessing of Wisdom (2/2), Increases the effect of your Blessing of Wisdom spell by 10/20%.
Effectively gives you 6 more mana per 5 seconds with rank 5 Blessing of Wisdom, a must for all raids. Even better if you have rank 6 Blessing of Wisdom. Get it if you specced Holy for raid healing
Tier 5: Pure of Heart, Divine Favor, Sanctified Light
Pure of Heart (3/3), Increases your resistance to Curse and Disease effects by 5/10/15%.
Oh my god it’s bad. Please skip this. There are much more valuable talent investments then something that sort of kind of pisses off warlocks.
Divine Favor (1/1), When activated, gives your next Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Holy Shock spell a 100% critical effect chance.
Effectively gives you a free critical heal every 2 minutes, since it requires 5 points in Illumination to receive. Yet again, if you have 21 points in Holy, you should have this talent. It is a full heal in most cases. As a note, Divine Favor is on its own cooldown from other abilities, and is not subject to the global cooldown, so you can place it in a macro that instantly uses it and starts to cast your heal or casts Holy Shock.
Sanctified Light (3/3), Increases the critical strike chance of your Holy Light spell by 2/46%.
Hell of a talent. Holy Light is your primary heal and this is doubly effective as holy power for it. In fact, I find that this talent in conjunction with a lower rank holy light (Rank 4 at 60) plus Blessing of Light gives you a bit better mana efficiency at a very similar cast rate (if you have Light’s Grace)
Tier 6: Purifying Power, Holy Power
Purifying Power (2/2), Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse and Consecration spells by 5/10% and increases the critical strike chance of your Exorcism and Holy Wrath spells by 10/20%.
I love this talent. Cleanse more, consecrate more, and give your exorcisms that extra oomph to really mess up a warlock (Felguards are fragile against holy damage. Trust me.) I think 2 points here is better then 5/5ing Holy Power.
Holy Power (5/5), Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy spells by 1/2/3/4/5%.
Nothing about this talent is bad. Definitely get it if you have reached tier-6 of the holy tree. It increases the amount you heal, and thanks to illumination increases the time you can heal as well Also, Judgment of Righteousness and Holy Shock crit based on your chance to crit with spells, so it increases your damage as well.
Tier 7: Light’s Grace, Holy Shock, Blessed Life
Light’s Grace (3/3), Gives your Holy Light spell a 33/66/100% chance to reduce the cast time of your next Holy Light spell by 0.5 sec. This effect lasts 15 sec.
This talent is spectacular on paper and works pretty freak’n well in practice. PvE it lets you use a lower rank holy light (I like ranks 4 and 5 with Sanctified Light) as though it was your flash of light for slightly better efficiency on targets who have Blessing of Light, PvP it lets you pump out those Holy Light spells fast enough to really keep people alive. Definitely pick it up if you intend to heal.
Holy Shock (1/1), Blasts the target with Holy energy, causing 204 to 220 Holy damage to an enemy, or 204 to 220 healing to an ally at rank 1. Deals and heals 365 to 395 damage at rank 3 (level 56)
The 31 point holy talent for paladins. This ability is the only direct heal in the game that is instant cast, which does have some powerful PvP effects. More so, it deals direct, controllable, and reliable damage, which is nice. Try it out, see if you like it.
Blessed Life (3/3), All attacks against you have a 4/7/10% chance to cause half damage.
There are a couple of flaws with this talent. Theoretically it’s a flat 5% damage mitigation, but in actuality it could be halving all the 50 damage hamstrings on you and none of the 3k Frostbolts. I think these talent points could be better spent elsewhere, but a lot of people probably love it, so I’m going to flag this as “take at your own risk.” Also, a silly flaw with the talent is that it ranks up +4%/+3%/+3%, meaning after the first point the additional points get you less. Really should be 3/3/4 so there’s inclination to finish it off.
Tier 8: Holy Guidance
Holy Guidance (5/5), Increases your spell damage and healing by 7/14/21/28/35% of your total Intellect.
Holy Guidance batman! This talent is really good. It’s the new bread-and-butter of the Holy tree. A lot of paladin itemization issues are dealt with in giving us spell damage based on intellect, and it gives a considerable amount of it. This talent is a must have if you can pick it up.
Tier 9: Divine Illumination
Divine Illumination (1/1), Reduces the mana cost of all spells by 50% for 15 sec.
So just like Improved Concentration Aura, I've tried picking this talent up and using it, and I've been surprised how useful it can be. I won't ward paladins away from it anymore. This ability has a couple nice functions... first off, it's all spells, meaning you could use it soloing, healing, dpsing, tanking, or whatever to save a load of mana under tough circumstances sometimes. It's not just heals, so that's nice. The other really useful factor in this ability is that, in conjunction with Illumination, it will let you regenerate some mana healing. See, a proper Holy Light should have a nasty crit rate (easily 20% or more with some gear), plus we have Divine Favor to force one crit. Since Illumination refunds the base cost of the spell, each critical holy light will refund half of its mana price back to the paladin while under Divine Illumination. That is, if your HL costs 660 mana, it costs 330 while under Divine Illumination. That means you spend 330, and if it crits you regain 660, so you gained 330 mana. If you get multiple crits, you can get a bunch of mana back. S'very nice. This ability is not on the Global Cooldown.