Holy Paladin in Shadowlands - Healer Strengths, Best Covenants, Soulbinds and Legendaries
10.11.2020 в 22:03
Shadowlands launches on November 23rd / 24th and all classes will be getting new toys to play with -- from Covenant abilities, to Conduits and returning Legendary effects! This article, written by Pelinal, will provide details on the current state of Holy Paladin in Shadowlands, helping you to prepare for the upcoming expansion!
Holy Paladin is a healing specialization subset of the Paladin class in World of Warcraft. Paladins are righteous benevolent characters who use "The Light" to smite their foes or to help their allies in combat. Holy Paladins have consistently been depicted as warriors of the light clad in plate armor. The Holy Paladin specifically focuses on the "helping their allies in combat" portion being the healing specialization. Holy Paladins bring a plethora of utility spells through Blessings and Auras while having many layers of defense themselves. Holy Paladins focus on what is called "Triage" healing, which refers to helping those who are the most in need. Many other healing specializations within World of Warcraft focus on lots of AoE healing and using "smart" heals (that automatically target an injured player). Though Holy Paladin has some AoE healing capability and some "smart" healing. Their main bread and butter are large single target heals that have an immediate impact.
This article is meant to be a follow-up to the previous "State of" article we have covered at Wowhead linked
. Since then there have been a few large changes, though no major reworks.
In this article, we will discuss the new Shadowlands systems such as Covenants, Soulbinds, and Legendaries. How they impact the Holy Paladin specifically and to summarize what to expect as of the current state of the Shadowlands Beta.
Shadowlands still isn't quite here, and many things may (or may not) change from the time this article is posted. As such for the most accurate recommendations or information I recommend checking out the main
Holy Paladin Guide
. This guide will reflect the current state of the playable game, including updates when Shadowlands launches. Blizzard usually does balance throughout the expansion including the week of the raid release. So anything can, or may change between now and then.
About the Author
This page is being updated and maintained by
. A Holy Paladin with over 10 years experience raiding in various top end guilds. He is also part of the Holy Staff of
Hammer of Wrath Paladin Discord
. If there are any questions, feel free to contact him on
Check out all our Shadowlands Launch Opinion articles by our Class Writers and members of the community! Click on any of the colored specs below to see what articles we've released so far.
These guides were meant to give you a preview of what's to come in the expansion, but don't worry -- our full Shadowlands Class Guides will be updated soon!
Blood Death Knight
Frost Death Knight
Unholy Death Knight
Havoc Demon Hunter
Vengeance Demon Hunter
Beast Mastery Hunter
Class Changes and Talents
Paladins saw many large changes with the pre-patch, such as a returning resource system known as Holy Power, many new talents, and some new baseline abilities. For a complete look at spell changes that have already occurred on the live client, you can view them
As this is intended to be a follow-up to the previous article, we will highlight some of the biggest changes since that article as well as some changes that have occurred from pre-patch to Shadowlands launch.
The primary change(s) since the state of article in the changes to
. One of the largest complaints in that article where that Holy Paladin's overall Holy Power generation felt slow. Both of these spells were changed and it seems like the changes were targeted to address that core issue. For PvP there was also a significant improvement to Divine Favor
- cooldown reduced from 9s to 7.5s
- now generates 1 Holy Power
- now reduces the cast time of
Now, with Shadowlands on the horizon, the gameplay of Holy Paladin will change significantly from pre-patch to your level 60 experience. The current build focuses on
, and lots of
s to maximize
healing. With the loss of Battle for Azeroth systems such as Azerite, and Essences that enhance the
playstyle, and the addition of new systems. Depending on the type of content you do, the playstyle will focus much more heavily on
usage, due to new interactions with Conduits, and Legendaries. We will discuss this in more depth throughout this article.
The talent tree will look something like this:
There is some variation here. Most notably if you are in Mythic+ you may opt into
, if you are not Kyrian or have two tanks taking a lot of damage you may swap out
For a more in-depth look at talents your best bet would be to check out the Holy paladin talent guide, once Shadowlands is live, and we have left pre-patch.
| Level 52 - Interrupt and Silence effects on party and raid members within 40 yards are 30% shorter.
| Level 54 - Shows the location of nearby undead on the minimap.
| Level 56 - Increased duration by 4s
| Level 58 -
may be usable on any target during
Ultimately most of these abilities are inconsequential.
may be useful in some PvE situations, however is simply a niche ability. It is more useful in PvP situations and will see more use there. Sense Undead is ultimately a flavor ability and has little gameplay impact.
being slightly enhanced will not have any impact on your decision of which Aura to use.
The largest change however is the
ability, gaining access to this during
is a nice benefit, as it gives you a mana free holy power generator during
Holy Paladin Covenant Abilities
With Shadowlands one of the largest new systems is of course the Covenant system. This system consists of the four major factions that you will meet and interact with throughout the expansion. Their Paladin specific and signature abilities are listed below. Each Covenant has a conduit that enhances that ability in some manner. However, a more in-depth explanation of all conduits can be found below. We will just be touching on the enhancements to each Covenant ability in this section.
- This ability is a very powerful one for Holy Paladin. Most of the class mechanics revolve around Holy Power now, and in a mythic+ or raid setting this ability is almost guaranteed to give you 5 holy power. It also has complete flexibility allowing you to use it offensively or defensively. It also gives paladins a nice burst of healing on a fairly consistent basis, with good synergy around some of our talents such as
- The Summon Steward portion of this ability is mostly convenient, and we won't spend much time speaking about it. Having said that, it gives you a
that acts as a healthstone you can use, which also cleanses most damage over time effects. The healthstone portion of this ability is nice, though nothing to write home about as paladins already have a plethora of survivability options. However, the DoT removal effect is certainly going to be useful in many raid encounters, PVP scenarios, and mythic+ dungeons. Even if you are not in danger, being able to reduce the healing you need to focus on others is advantageous.
- This conduit is mechanically very cool, it changes the way you want to use
by making it so that whom you target with the spell has meaning. Providing a much larger heal to that person. However, the 3 extra
's holy power is almost certainly going to go to waste, as you will already be hitting 5 targets in most scenarios, as well with the base critical strike chance of
alone you are almost certain to get an
proc in regular use. Having said that, most Holy Paladin conduits are on the weak side (we will discuss this more below), as such this is a potent option.
- This ability has its flaws. With a 4min cooldown and ground radius, you run the risk of not being able to use it as often, or people moving out of it. The circle is large enough that you should get solid benefits from it even in scenarios where some movement is required. Overall its healing contribution and overall throughput is pretty good. This ability may seem awkward at first but is a powerful cooldown on its own. The flexibility of letting you use
can also be great for extra damage, or Holy Power generation. Venthyr is the second most competitive option at the time of writing this. In scenarios where this ability gets maximum effectiveness, it can outperform
is just useful in nearly every scenario, whereas this ability is really good in certain circumstances.
Although it should be noted that this spell does diminish in effectiveness the more enemies or allies are in it. You do gain additional benefits for having more people in the radius. If you have 5 people in the radius and it does say 100 healing, but then have 20 people it will do more than 200, but not 100 * (4) for the 20 people. Meaning it does in some sense have a target cap, it's not a hard target cap.
- Paladin mobility is always somewhat of a struggle. Paladins have plenty of instant cast spells and
to help us get where we need to go. But, sometimes it's just not quite enough.
is a pretty solid mobility button all around, and if you do happen to go Venthyr you will certainly find plenty of use cases for this ability.
- This conduit empowers
further, making it always heal the most injured target. This is incredibly powerful as it is a "true" smart heal, something the game has very little of these days. This conduit makes
a little bit better and is a large part of why Venthyr is a pretty powerful covenant. Which was not the case for most of the Shadowlands development cycle.
- This ability has potential but ultimately falls short in many ways. Although its a button you interact with quite frequently. The fact that it costs 1 Holy Power makes it more difficult and awkward to use. Due to Holy Paladins slightly lower holy power generation. Simply this ability is slightly under tuned on the throughput side of things. The extra damage can be nice, but without this ability empowering your free
, or no longer costing 1 Holy Power there are just better covenant options for Holy Paladin.
- This is a nice ability for defensive purposes, however, Paladin's generally are not lacking in defensives. With
and just wearing Plate Armor. it's simply underwhelming.
- The problem here is that again, just like
, it is more personal survivability which isn't as useful compared to other covenants. The damage increase from this conduit just isn't enough to be meaningful.
- Oh boy, this ability has been highly controversial within the paladin community. Ultimately it is a shell of early iterations and doesn't provide enough impact to be taken over the other covenants. The idea is interesting, a blessing that rotates through all of the seasons is thematically cool, and it has a nice animation to boot. But a large portion of its power comes from its benefits to party members, which leaves you feeling weak and can lead to some unpleasant scenarios where stacking external damage buffs is normalized. Depending on your perspective, however, the overall power of this ability just isn't there, and its niche nature makes it fall flat.
- The most redeeming factor about Night Fae however is this ability.
gives you a ton of mobility and is very satisfying to use. Being able to teleport and have the mobility speed without the long cast time on
- Unfortunately if you have an underwhelming ability in Blessing of the Seasons it's difficult to make a conduit that enhances it. This conduit buffs the duration of Summer which provides some extra damage. But if you need healing (which is your role, to begin with) there are better conduits.
Best Raiding Covenant
In raiding the choice is clear, Kyrian. Holy Paladins naturally have fairly low Holy Power generation due to the constraints brought in with the hefty mana cost of
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provides a large amount of on-demand holy power. Most encounters tend to have consistent damage patterns and
is perfectly suited for such situations. You are able to pre-empt a major damage event and pool holy power, to quickly dump and refill with a quick
Best Mythic+ Covenant
Just as Kyrian is the best for raiding, it is also the best for Mythic+. For different reasons, however, the first is that
can flex between offense and defense. But what's more, it shores up one of the paladin's key weaknesses in Mythic+ which is the ability to do healing outside of
. Due to the short 1 minute cooldown, this ability in many scenarios is what keeps you *afloat* while you wait for
to come back up. What's more is it allows you to instantly activate, or place
's on your party members in a dungeon. Combine this with
's ability to remove dangerous debuffs, you have a great covenant.
Truthfully, covenants are closer than they may seem. With some small buffs to Necrolord, it could be a viable option, and Venthyr is already solid. the design of the ability is just somewhat more Niche. But in the scenarios where it is useful, it already performs admirably. Night Fae is just a difficult ability to balance, and I'll say I am thankful it is on the weaker end, it may see some scenarios where it is abused, on either certain dungeons or bosses. But ultimately it is the least interesting to me. If
did maybe 10-15% more healing or had a slightly shorter cooldown; if
either generated 1 Holy Power or increased the healing done by the empowered
by X%, I think that covenant choices would be much closer. I don't think however that nerfing
is the correct choice. The ability on its own isn't powerful compared to other classes' Covenant abilities. Our other covenant abilities are simply lackluster.
Holy Paladin's are in a really strange spot for soulbinds currently. Recently there have been a lot of changes to this system. As it stands as of the time of writing this, the best soulbind is Kleia
This is due to a recent rework to the
ability, making it quite potent for life-saving. This may not be the best HPS option, but in most encounters having this ability will be very powerful for keeping people alive.
The unfortunate part of Kleia however, is that there is no good path that involves 2 potency conduits, so you are ultimately forced into a single potency. You also end up going towards
at the end, meaning you double up on Endurance conduits, of which there aren't many great options. But due to the relative power of our conduits being so low, this is the best pathing.
Your path should look something like this
Early on you may opt into taking the second Potency until you unlock
which will be a large power gain at renown level 34.
For a runner-up you should look at Pelagos, this soulbind was recently modified to have a much lower duration on
. Meaning as a paladin this will be far more difficult to keep up. The advantage to this soulbind however is that you will be able to use 2 potency conduits. The pathing is fairly straightforward, you hug the left initially passing through
. The only other major decision to be had with this soulbind is whether or not you want a second Endurance or a single Finesse. I would recommend a Finesse personally on the second-last row. However, if
is valuable to you for one reason or another, you may opt to get the second endurance.
Conduits are another new system added in shadowlands. These act sort of like Relics if you are familiar with Legion. You socket them into your Soulbind tree, and they unlock new ability (sort of like Artifact, or Azerite) powers. They come in 3 types:
Potency - These are the main throughput related abilities
Endurance - These focus on survivability.
Finesse - These are more utility oriented.
Below we will cover all of the potency conduits, as well the most noteworthy Endurance/Finesse conduits. As a reminder, we covered the covenant specific conduits above in the Covenant's section.
- This conduit gives you a boost to
's after using
. This is a nice idea but is just under-tuned. It provides too small a benefit and is only usable once every 3 minutes. It would be a nice ability to have that changes up gameplay, but when it is competing with other conduits it just isn't as useful as other options.
- This is a nice conduit in all areas of gameplay Holy Paladin revolves around
, and having a conduit that makes it more likely to crit plays into the class quite well. This conduit is a little on the under-tuned side, as there are other non-class specific abilities that outperform this conduit.
- This is probably the most noteworthy conduit of the bunch. This is why we are changing to a more
focused playstyle for raiding in Shadowlands. This conduit increases our
healing by a significant amount and gives us a bit of AoE healing in stacked scenarios as well. This conduit is powerful and is a must-have for raiding. This conduit also synergizes well with
Цветение Солнечного Колодца
a legendary we will talk about more below.
- This is a cool idea, and has some nice synergy with a legendary
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that we will discuss more below. However, when you pair the two together you can use a single
and deal massive damage to yourself, somewhere in the neighborhood of 25%+ of your health in a single global. Making it very risky to use. That risk, combined with a lack of overall options for potency conduits, means this could be fun and powerful. But there isn't room to slot it into your tree currently. Maybe in a future patch if we have more Potency conduits this could be fun to play around with.
can be an invaluable tool in your arsenal for some fights. This conduit has the potential to let you use it in otherwise impossible scenarios or lineups more frequently. As such this could be incredibly powerful as a defensive option. However, it will depend on the fight. Some fight's
isn't even necessary save for. But, on other encounters, you may use it to ignore entire mechanics.
- This provides a small amount of healing to you, however, it only gives you an absorb based on effective healing done by
, additionally in some scenarios you may be using
more often than
- This is a nice boost to our blessing utility.
is a potent external cooldown, but due to its damage transfer can sometimes be dangerous to use. Having an additional damage reduction component that lasts beyond the blessings base duration certainly fits into the nice to have category. But again nothing too exciting.
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- This is probably the best Finesse conduit. It helps with our mobility slightly by increasing the duration of
is good enough to get you where you are going, and the extra duration may or may not go to waste with this selected. But, there is no doubt that the extra duration will feel good on certain encounters, in dungeons, or even just running around in the maw.
Ultimately if you are in a scenario where you want two Potency Conduits, your first bet in raiding will be
, after that either
In Mythic+ you will be looking at
as a priority, along with
. Due to the nature of damage in Mythic+, the
playstyle/components are far less valuable in that area.
Holy Paladin Legendaries
Holy Paladins have a collection of Legendaries that could be useful, but each has some problems with it in one way or another. Overall Holy Paladin legendaries are on the weaker side currently, and it is a large part of why paladins seem to be struggling in Shadowlands content.
The below categories are as follows
Class Legendaries - these are legendaries that all 3 paladin specs can use.
Spec Legendaries - These are legendaries tailored to a specific spec. Some legendaries cross-over E.G: A retribution legendary can be used as Holy, so this list will include more than Holy Legendaries.
Global Legendaries - These are legendaries that are globally usable.
Закат и рассвет
- This legendary, just isn't that great. It doesn't provide a large enough benefit to be noteworthy, and playing around it is incredibly awkward. It would need significant buffs to be useful.
- This is a potentially okay legendary, but ultimately it comes down to the fact there are better options out there. The additional
uptime is pretty much just offset by the global you used to cast
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- This legendary, if it were tuned slightly better would be a solid option. Right now even at a 60% chance it just isn't reliable enough. However, it does have great synergy with
- A possibly useful utility legendary. In some encounters, this may be something you use to get more
s out, but provides very little overall throughput as such isn't exactly a mandatory pick.
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- This legendary has great synergy with
, and the two paired together are what makes
a powerful ability in Shadowlands. This as of the time of writing will be the de-facto standard first pick for raiding in Shadowlands. Although there isn't much of a choice between
. The increased
healing is very powerful and gets scaled by
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- This legendary is a solid option for raiding. there is a good chance if/when a second legendary opens up this will be a common one to use. It has some interesting synergy with the conduit
making for some large burst single-target healing, but at some risk to yourself. The pairing could prove powerful, or a bit too much danger. Even without using
however this legendary is solid in its own right.
Разрубатель Тьмы, Вестник Рассвета
was recently redesigned to also empower
. This is an interesting legendary, and if you stack
has the potential to be very powerful. However
isn't always the best stat to stack, and as such this legendary can start to fall behind depending on your
effectiveness. It may see some use outside of raiding, but even then in PvP, or Mythic+, there are potentially other options.
- This legendary recently was changed to scale based on the healing done from your
, and is a potentially good legendary in smaller group sizes such as Mythic+ or PvP. This is due to its hard cap of 3 targets. However, in both of those game-modes damage is just as important as healing. As such having a purely defensive legendary may not always be the best option.
- This legendary may see some play in PvP, as it gives you an extra
to finish off your opponents. However, does not provide a large healing benefit. It can be nice during
to smooth out the rotation.
- There is a good chance that this will be the best choice in Mythic+ as it is a well-rounded legendary. It provides both throughput and damage, something no other legendary does well. Additionally in Mythic+, you will still be running
and as such have access to more Holy Power allowing you to keep this buff up far easier than in a raid environment.
- This is the most noteworthy global legendary, as it is potentially good. Though it is now a bit more RNG it still has the potential to provide a nice throughput boost to you and your allies.
Ultimately as it stands right now, the legendary that stand out the most are
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for raiding, and most other legendary powers feel like a "which option is the least bad" type of decision, allowing for legendaries such as
which aren't even intended for Holy Paladin to win out in Mythic+.
Ultimately, Paladin will look a lot different for raiding in Shadowlands. With a playstyle focused around
Цветение Солнечного Колодца
. Making for a more traditional caster feel. However, you will still likely be a "Melee Healer" due to the occasional (but not too often) usage of
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. The overall strength of this spec will rely on its heavy single-target healing, utility, and defensive options. However, if encounters have no need for triage/spot healing, or if tanks are very self-sufficient leading to lots of
overhealing paladins may be in danger as our overall throughput is noticeably behind all other healers. If paladins are not tuned around our high overhealing, or if encounter's just have lots of overhealing paladin's will not be as strong as previous expansions.
If you are a fan of the fast-paced
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playstyle, however, do not fear. This will still be a powerful option in Mythic+ where your damage contribution is incredibly important. Unfortunately, there are not as many interesting options in terms of legendaries or conduits to support this playstyle. It will still feel very similar to what you see now on the Pre-patch just with an extra Covenant Ability.
Many within the Holy Paladin community are worried, and I believe rightfully so. We have a clear design for our spec it seems, where we are intended to be using big nuke heals such as
. But the question is, how valuable is that in current content? In PvP, relying so heavily on
leads you to be susceptible to CC or interrupts. In Raiding if you have a big
, but the disc priest has already topped off the whole raid before it lands, how valuable are you? In Mythic+ if you provide damage, but struggle to heal damage outside of wings due to low throughput, and don't bring battle rez is it worth it?
For many players, it likely will not matter. But there are some clear concerns right now. They can all be addressed and all of them stem simply from low overall throughput. That could change overnight with a generic healing buff, or maybe the idea of a single target healer just isn't viable in World of Warcraft today. At the end of the day though, paladin's still bring plenty of utility through
. So long as a paladin isn't absurdly far behind in raw throughput, there are reasons to bring a paladin. Only time will tell. Will encounter design in Castle Nathria allow for our spot healing? Will damage be light enough in high mythic+ keys, or dungeons be structured in such a way you can avoid the gaps in paladin throughput? Time will tell.
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