Wednesday, 6 May 2009

For Great Justice: Arena healing as deep protection.

Healing as a paladin in Season 6 is proving interesting. As previously mentioned, I find that paladins seem to have a lot less utility than the other healing classes (lack of mobility, drain, cc and instant casts), and particularly vulnerable to lock-outs and mana drains.

Until recently I’ve healed only as deep holy: either 51/20/0 or 49/0/22 (S5 only, since the ret talents were changed in 3.1.0). Recently I’ve looked at other specs, mostly to address the aforementioned issues of utility and mana regen, and since deep Holy gives very little to 2v2 and 3v3 healing. Two alternative specs are popular: ret/holy and deep protection. Of the two

Retribution/Holy (e.g. 32/0/39): has Repentance for control, and infinite mana with Judgements of the Wise, plus trading the Art of War for the loss of Infusion of Light. Additionally it has stun removal, Pursuit of Justice and increased crit %, as well as improved damage output.

Deep Protection (e.g. 19/52/0): infinite mana via a refreshable and undispellable Divine Plea, increased survivability from various stamina bonuses, considerable increases to FoL and HL healing due to increased crit coefficient and a stamina to spellpower conversion (in my mediocre gear I now get 3.7k FoL’s, with 7k crits, and 21k HL crits), as well as a 20 second (!) Hammer of Justice cooldown, and the 3-second silence of Avenger’s Shield (including a daze, and affecting up to 3 targets).

I’m currently trying the deep Prot version, and have to say that it’s interesting and fun to play, a lot more so than deep Holy. The control offered by the 20 second Hammer of Justice cooldowns is impressive, as well as access to Avenger’s Shield. A 6-second stun every 20 seconds is highly entertaining. Against healer/dps we play very aggressively, and mana regeneration is excellent, and means swapping glyphed Seal of Wisdom for the 3-second RNG stun of Seal of Justice for more stunning entertainment (the controlled stun from HoJ is on a separate cooldown to the uncontrolled SoJ stun).

However without the combination of Holy Shock, Divine Favour, and Infusion of Light, double dps does tend to sh#t all over us once Divine Guardian runs out, plus silences/interrupts are even stronger against me without instant heals. Lack of Light’s Grace and Judgements of the Pure also means that healing through Mortal Strike becomes a pain (especially after the stupid damage from a Bladestorm), and the spec requires a dps partner with decent survivability (i.e. a plate-wearer). But overall it’s a lot more pleasant to play than the fairly dull reactivity of deep Holy.

Further thoughts will probably follow as I play the spec more, yet one thing does occur:

The Holy tree is in sad shape when delving deeper into Protection or Retribution can prove more beneficial for 2v2 arena healing.


  1. Hey, welcome back!

    I remember the first time I saw a deep prot healer I was pretty surprised taking an Avenger's Shield to the face. Until that point I'd mainly run into the holy/ret hybrids or Beacon-users (probably PvE specced or holy/prot).

    I'm currently using a 52/19/0 spec since it looks like I'm going to be focusing on 3v3 this season and I'm sometimes called upon to raid heal. (My second spec is tanking-prot.) I'm finding I really like the Divine Guardian and Imp. Hammer of Justice. Beacon, which isn't a strong PvP ability, is still surprisingly useful for the first minute that it's up (I don't usually refresh it) since most matches are still pretty quick.

    My 3v3 team has a DK and a hunter with me. Usually the hunter gets focus fired and the DK runs into melee range and around pillars, so it's nice being able to heal the hunter and not worry about LOS issues with the DK who will still be getting the Beacon heals.

  2. IRT Hana

    It's better to beacon yourself in 3v3 - then you can easily sacrifice, divine guardian and heal yourself up with beacon

  3. I actually took the deep prot build in vault25 with regular holy gear (sp around 2000). I was put on MT healing. I had him topped off the whole time and was even able to snipe heals on the raid. I ended up with 1936 on heal meter, in second place.

    Anyone ever try taking this build into ulduar?