Holy Paladin Quick Guide

This is my Holy Paladin Guide, an off-spec guide for us Retribution Paladins.  Let me start by saying that I have received several requests for a Holy Paladin guide on this site, but have been hesitant to do so due to my lack of utilization as a healer. However, that changed with ICC, and I spent about a month or two as a back-up healer in my guild.  Even as a back-up, I was used quite often, especially in 3 healer fights.   With this healing experience, I am going to give you my guide to being a healing Holy Paladin.

The resources I am pulling from are my own experiences in raids and 5-mans, as well as information from Elitist Jerks and various threads on the official WoW forums.

One of the key things to remember when going off-spec as a healer is that a good Holy Paladin learns from experience.  There is no set rotation, and much of healing is done on instinct…it simply cannot be taught.  So, my goal is to show that there is a foundation of information you can build on, and from there, any Paladin can start building up to be a solid healer.

I am going to do this from a Holy Lightpoint of view.  There are two main types of Paladin healers: Holy Light (HL) and Flash of Light (FoL).  Because the more dominant type of healer is Holy Light, as well as that is where my experience lies, that is what this information will revolve around.  Holy Light Paladins use Holy Light as their main heal.  Flash of Light and Holy Shock are back-up and situational heals.

Remember, this is a quick guide.  If you would like in-depth conversation on the subject, the Elitist Jerks Holy Paladin thread is a great place to go.


These are the stats to focus on as a Holy Paladin, ranked from highest priority to lowest:

  1. Intellect
  2. Haste
  3. Spell Power
  4. Critical Strike
  5. Mana per 5 seconds

Intellect - The most dominant Holy Paladin stat by far.  By stacking intellect, a Holy Pally greatly increases their mana pool, allowing for mass spamming of Holy Light heals.  Since we are considered good single target healers, we are often assigned to healing tanks.  With Beacon of Light as our trusty sidekick, an onslaught of Holy Lights adds a tremendous benefit to the raid and its potential success.

Haste - I rate Haste second for Holy Light heals because it will increase the number of Holy Lights you can cast in a minute.  In essence, it decreases the cast time, while still costing the same amount of mana.  The higher haste you have, the more Holy Lights you will be able to cast on your allies.  A 676 Haste rating will get you soft capped, which is also 20.6% Haste.  After that, further haste will only speed up your Holy Light casting time.

Spell Power- Spell Power and Crit fall close to each other, but simply put, the more spell power you have, the stronger your Holy Lights will be.

Critical Strike- Again, a pretty simple explanation…more crit equals more Holy Light critical heals.  Illumination does give crit heals a 30% reduction in mana cost.

Mp5- Returns mana every 5 seconds, but does not replenish mana as well as intellect.


I am giving only 2 options for gemming here.  Gemming for anything else is basically not optimizing your Holy Paladin’s healing potential.

  1. Intellect
  2. Spell Power

You will want to gem for intellect 100% of the time once your gear is raid-capable.  The only time you may want to gem spell power is if you are just starting out healing and need the additional healing strength to heal 5-mans.  Once your gear is capable of handling this on its own, switch to all intellect.

A Nightmare Tear (+10 to all stats) is probably best to satisfy meta requirements.

For your meta gem, use [Insightful Earthsiege Diamond].


Enchanting will revolve around intellect as well, if possible.  Spell Power will be your next best option.


Choosing your glyphs as a Holy Paladin is pretty simple.  There are only 4 truly viable major glyphs, and about 3 minor glyphs to choose from.  I rank them in this priority level:



For your major glyphs, HL and BoL are going to be your staples, with the two seal glyphs as your third choice.  Most often, Glyph of Wisdom will be your choice toreduce mana costs, especially for longer fights.  Glyph of Seal of Light can be used if you have zero mana issues, and just want that extra 5% healing.

Of the 3 minor glyphs, LoH is the most important, as it returns a hefty chunk of mana to the Holy Paladin.

Food, Flasks, and Potions

Really, you have several options and combinations here, but I will give you my choice for raiding purposes:


There are several ways you can spec to heal.  The one I prefer to use is 52/17/2.  This allows for me to dip far enough into the Protection Tree to take Divine Sacrifice and Divine Guardian.  This is one of the more solid builds for healing raids.

Healing in 5-mans

Healing 5-man dungeons is a pretty simple task.  After buffing, I place Beacon of Light on the tank, and focus on healing the group.  If the party isn’t taking damage, then I’ll just heal the tank alone.  Most of the time, I can use Flash of Light only.  Flash of Light hits hard enough with my current gear, so that unless we get some really spiky damage, it is enough to completely heal most 5-mans.

In the scenario that I have an under-geared tank, or we start taking random chunks of heavy damage, then I’ll bring out the Holy Lights, which is usually still overkill at that point.

For Holy Paladins starting out, Holy Light is probably your best bet.  That, in combination with Glyph of Holy Light, should make for a fairly easy healing job.

KHOR’S TIP: I simply hate, hate, hate when a healer waits until you are at 50% HP or less before they start healing.  My philosophy is, if you see someone has taken damage, no matter how small, hit them immediately with a heal.  Keeping everyone topped off is a much more efficient method of healing, and better prepares you for those instances where damage spikes hit you unexpectedly. Most Paladins shouldn’t have too many mana concerns, so spam away on that Flash of Light!

Healing Raids

Most of the time, we will be assigned as main tank healers.  It is up to you to decide how to use your Beacon of Light, because each raid set-up will have different scenarios.  For my guild, I am usually assigned to both tanks when I heal.  The OT gets BoL, and my MT gets the direct heals, for most fights.  Every now and then I can help raid heal, usually with Holy Shocks and Flash of Light.

At some point I may do a more in-depth look at raid healing, but for now, I’ll let the quick guide remain just that…quick!  Hope this helps get you off on the right foot.  Healing isn’t too hard, but it does take time to master.  Any questions or comments, feel free to post below!


  1. Zavaris says:

    Thanks for this, I was just about to head to the forum to request a Holy Paladin guide.

  2. Zavaris says:

    Sorry for double posting but after reading through you forgot to mention which Meta gem we should use. Since we should be stacking Intellect I am assuming we need the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond.

  3. Khor says:

    Thanks for the heads up, Zav! Fixed!

  4. Jeremiah says:

    Need to always have up the SS/Flash hot on someone (tank usually) and keep your judgment up for the haste. Those two things are pretty important.

  5. Tiago says:

    Nice Guide Khor! I was able to entirely change my off spec and start healin’ right away with your guide! Thanks.

  6. Tealke says:

    So i was wondering with patch 4.0.1 gone live are you going to be doing a quick guide on the new Holy Paladin system ?

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