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There are three situations where you can be performing a pure healing role. In small instances if you’re the main healer, in large raids and in group PvP. Some elements remain the same for each situation, other things will be different. To start with, what stats does a paladin need on healing gear? Well, I have a thread detailing that at [url]http://www.tribute2.org/gits/viewtopic.php?t=746[/url] but I will mention it here too. It all comes down to two things primarily: Having enough mana to keep casting, and good healing bonus to make your heals more efficient. For the mana aspect there are a couple of stats to look at. First there’s your intellect, 15 mana per point and your main source for a high mana pool. Second, mana per 5 seconds or Mp5 for short. Mp5 will regenerate mana while you cast, unline spirit which only regen if you haven’t cast for 5 seconds. As a paladin will usually be spamming flash heals, we don’t often get long enough pauses for spirit regen to be too worthwhile, and unlike priests we don’t have talents to make spirit work during casting or add to our healing bonuses, so for our mana we should have plenty of intellect and Mp5. There is one other thing with mana, and that’s for a holy paladin who has illumination. When we crit our heals, we get the mana cost refunded so spell crit is another nice stat to have. For more efficient healing there is one thing that helps there, and that’s +Healing. The higher healing we have, the stronger our heals become and we can even drop ranks of healing spells to still heal well for less mana. Spell crit will also help with efficiency, giving us extra healing on crits. After those primary stats, you shouldn’t neglect stamina completely. As a lot of raid encounters have aoe damage, damaging debuffs etc. it is still important to have good hitpoints so you can survive those things. A dead paladin is a useless paladin :) Take the Onyxia run last night for example - I survived a deep breath with 44 health remaining, so that +7 stam I have on my boots or taking an item with stamina instead of one without kept me alive. Stamina should not be ignored. So the following stats should be looked for in a healing set:
Mana per 5 seconds
For a pure healing set, they’re the important things. As for which you focus on, different people have different approaches. Some stack as much +healing as possible before anything else. Others will focus on maximising their Mp5 to continue casting forever without going out of mana. Then there are those who try as much spell crit as possible for the illumination talent. My personal approach is to combibe them all, but with +healing as the dominant stat. Here’s how I built my healing set: When I started putting it together, my first priority was to get my mana pool up. My target was 5000 unbuffed mana. After that I started adding as much +Healing as I could while staying above that 500 mana mark. Along with the +Healing, Mp5 got introduced and some spell crit items. I also kept my stamina up where possible At the point of writing this my healing set now has the following stats, unbuffed:
5.2k mana, 4.1k health
around 12% spell crit (including talent)
This balance works nicely for me, as I never seem to go out of mana and my heals are strong. I should note that at this time my gear consists of mostly ZG items, with only a few from MC/Onyxia. My focus is mostly on the +healing, but my 50 unbuffed Mp5 combines with BoW for almost 90 and I can add mana oil if I think it’s necessary for around 100 mana regen every 5 seconds. This sort of setup I can strongly recommend for any healing gear. As I say, it works very well for me. As we progress through the new raids I’ll keep adding to this and all my stats will continue to increase.
Now there are a couple of things with healing sets. Firstly, armour - is it necessary? The argument of Plate vs Cloth has gone on for a long time, and will go on indefinitely. People will always have their own views on the matter that conflict with others. Here’s my take on the issue: It’s completely situational! Sometimes you will be likely to take a lot of physical damage and armour (and shield) become very useful, a big advantage paladins have over priests. Other times damage you take will be magical, making armour useless, or even no damage at all. Here are some examples:
You’re running through ZG, fights like Panther and Tiger boss have adds that do melee damage. It’s good there to be in plate with a shield so the damage you take is limited, whereas in full cloth you’d be more like a priest in that you’d take damage faster and time to react to that danger is shorter. You’re at Raggy in MC, getting hit by a lot of fire damage. You can be in plate or cloth, that won’t change the damage at all - the only thing that can reduce spell damage you take is the correct resistance, it doesn’t matter what type of armour that’s on.
You’re in Arathi Basin, playing a healing role. While damage from mages and other casters isn’t reduced by having plate, there will be rogues, warriors and shamans coming to hit you with pointy objects. In this situation armour is very useful indeed, giving you much greater survivability in full plate and a shield if melee come for you. Horde melee hate fighting a paladin in plate with a shield, it takes them ages to kill you.
Generally, in raids, being full plate is not important. Your healing set can easily include cloth/leather/mail and as cloth and leather in particular often have better healing stats than our available plate, that can be preferable. Remember that what you use to heal in a raid doesn’t have to be what you use elsewhere - you can have cloth items for figths where damage will only be magical, plate for when you’ll be taking physical hits. It’s all about knowing what’s going to be coming at you and ajusting your gear accordingly. The one limiting factor with cloth/leather is that those items will mostly go to priests and druids. A paladin will usually be mostly plate as a result of that anyway, but there’s nothing at all wrong with picking up healing cloth if you want to when the opportunity presents itself.
The other thing with healing gear is when you think about combat stats. Take Lawbringer for example, most stats are for healing but it has some Strength on it. The reason for this is not because strength is important for healing, but because Lawbringer is not a pure healing set - it’s a hybrid set. While Lawbringer items will likely still be better for healing than most things you have before MC, the only pure healing set for a paladin is Redemtion, the tier 3 set from Naxx. Lawbringer is there as the first epic set a paladin will obtain, intended to strengthen the healing aspect but also has some strength thrown in so you can use it to go poke things with your sword (though Lawbringer is far from ideal as a dps set). One useful thing from this, however, is if instead of a pure healing role you’re playing more balanced - adding a bit of damage when healign is secure, and dropping back to heal when needed. For times like that, Lawbringer and Judgement are nice to be wearing instead of 100% pure healing items as they will add to your damage a bit but still have strong healing stats. Again, equipping more balanced gear vs pure healing items is situational, and you should choose based on what you’ll be doing. For pure healing, strength and other combat stats are not needed at all. If you’ll be doing both damage and healing in the same fight, a set like Lawbringer with stats for both situations will be nice.
There are fights where rather than healing, you’ll spend most of your time spamming cleanse to remove poisons/magic debuffs from the raid. Some do both healing and cleansing in the same set of gear but I like to make a few changes, as when you’re primarily cleansing you don’t use all that +healing - cleansing simply uses mana. To cleanse I bring items in that add more intellect and/or mana regen, so I can cleanse for longer before going out of mana. An example of this is that for healing I use Hide of the Wild as my cloak, but bring one in with 5 Mp5 for cleanse-heavy fights.