Holy Paladin Guide
Another WoW class guide! Why would you want to look at this one?
This guide is unbiased by human emotions and feelings. We extended our unique brand of data-driven analysis to talents and rotations. This is a video game! You should feel good about choosing to play in the manner that is the most fun for you. At the same time, holding your team back is not fun. The idea here is to quantify the play styles available to you.
The Talent section of the guide is a fun little tool for browsing simulation results of different talent builds. Our Rotation section is a tool that renders the actual action priority used by the simulator in a human-readable format. The Rotation Analysis section shows some of the analysis that went into developing the rotations. And of course, we have an entire portion of the website dedicated to gear and stat optimization.
The first and most important thing that all players need to know is "ABC" - Always Be Casting. (For melee it's more like always be in melee range.) Talents, Gear, Rotation - none of it really matters that much if you aren't hitting enemies non-stop. To do this, you need to make use of the game's spell queue. If you are stuggling with this aspect of the game or don't know what the spell queue is, read our Basic Gameplay Tips.
A lot of people have a hard time with the basics because of a sub-optimal keybinding and movement setup. It's weird, but, out of the box the game controls for WoW are not good for doing difficult game content. Read our Key Bindings and Movement Guide to help set yourself up for success.
Once you are confident with your ability to control your character and successfully chain actions together while moving and reacting to the game, it is time to think more about talents, rotation, and gear.
Talents & Essences
Use this interactive tool to see how your favorite talent + major essence combinations stack up against each other.
Why are all the bars almost full? If you optimize your rotation, azerite traits, and gear for each and every talent + major essence build, their max potential output is going to be very close. With few exceptions, they are so close you would have a hard time measuring the difference in-game if you play each build optimally. Talents (and your major essence), more than anything, change how the game feels when you play it. We do not observe much build diversity in WoW. This tool is giving you the real data behind the potential of each talent, and the data shows us that there is no objective reason for a lack of build diversity. Our goal is to encourage players to try more builds by giving you real numbers behind the trade-off between different talents and major essences.
Click on any talent or major essence to lock it in. The remaining data will be filtered to only combinations using the talent(s) and/or major essence you have selected. Use the pickers in the legend to modify the cutoffs between the green, yellow, and orange tiers as you see fit. The color-coding is there to help you visualize which builds you would consider.
Disclaimers: Certain talents and major essences can have situational use that makes them better or worse than this average data. This data assumes you can play every build equally well and have access to optimal gear.
Right now, Glimmer of Light is so strong that talent combinations which give substantially higher Holy Shock uses are skewing the data almost completely towards those talents. Sanctified Wrath in particular.
We combine our optimizer and simulator to do a comprehensive test of talents and major essences. The optimizer is used to find sets of optimal gear (azerite traits, stats, trinkets, etc.) for each relevant talent combination. We simulate all those sets and compare it to create this data. No one else is doing this! Less popular talents rarely get a fair analysis, but we specifically take time to optimize all potential builds.
Talent + major essence combinations are put into one of three tiers and color-coded. We purposely provide this information as tiered, not a specific ranked list of talent combos. An ordered list of the simulated DPS of different talent + major essence builds would be misleading. Simulators are great tools, but they are best used to examine trends in large amounts of data.
Our default cutoffs for the tiers are set so that all Tier 1 (green) builds can be competitive at the highest levels of play. Tier 2 (yellow) are still good, but might not get top parses as often. Tier 3 (orange) is where you would actually start to feel a difference without logging the results.
Talents that are faded out are utility talents or talent rows with minor impact that don't measurably change performance. Choose whichever one you like better or that is appropriate for the fight you are doing.
Number of combos with this talent or essence that fall in:
This bar shows how good the best combo using this talent/essence is
Tier 1 combos are within
Tier 2 combos are within
of max potential output
Choose how you want to see combos measured:
The Ever-Rising Tide
Artifice of Time
The Well of Existence
Vision of Perfection
Memory of Lucid Dreams
Conflict and Strife
The Crucible of Flame
Ripple in Space
The talent explorer tool and rotation viewer tool are completely separate. Choosing talents or a major essence in one does not affect the other.
We call this the rotation out of habit. It is actually an action priority. Each time you pick an action, you start at the top of the tree and use the first action that is available.
The actions are automatically filtered to your talents and artifact traits. Change your talents and artifact traits on the left if you want to view the rotation for a different build.
If you are wondering how we manage to simulate healers at all, check out our blog series which explains our healing simulator.
You rarely need to consider every available spell every time you decide which button to press while you're playing. Most actions have a cooldown or resource cost, so only a few will be available at any given moment. This priority tree shows you how to make some of the tougher choices to maximize your performance. We still call it a "rotation" because that's how it will start to feel as you get into your rhythm. Some actions are labeled as Pre-Fight and only need to be considered before the fight starts.
Certain abilities will only be picked under certain conditions. Conditional actions are shown with a dotted outline and include an explanation of the conditions for using them.
This rotation is rendered directly from the AMR simulator's default rotation. All gear and talent rankings will necessarily follow this rotation. As we develop the rotations, we factor them down to only what really matters for optimal performance. We base this on actual data and testing instead of human feelings - check out the Rotation Analysis section for details on how we avoid feelycraft.
Healer "rotations" are different than DPS rotations. As a healer, your actions are reactive to the health of your allies and the conditions of the fight (like a large damage phase incoming that requires preparation). For most of the actions in the healer rotations, you will see a line of text in green underneath the spell name which indicates the type of ally to consider and/or a health threshold. Through much experimentation, we have found the health thresholds in the rotation to be a good rule of thumb for maximizing your healing on difficult fights.
What about damage as a healer? Especially in Mythic+, doing some damage as a healer is very beneficial or even necessary. We don't include damage in these rotations except for the cases where doing damage provides a benefit to healing. The reason for this is because we are using the simulator to get data for maximizing healing effectiveness. The "gravy" damage that a healer provides has value, but it does not factor into gearing choices for healing in the optimizer.
Doing damage as a healer is very simple from a rotation perspective, so we encourage you to do damage when no one in your group needs healing (especially at the start of fights). Using a pre-potion and doing 10-20 seconds of damage at the start of a fight is often beneficial. If you are pushing very high level Mythic+ content and feel that the amount of damage you can do is important, the best thing to do is use a build that minimizes Mastery on your gear. DPS as a healer is not very sensitive to stats, but Mastery does not affect DPS for any healing specs.
You are looking at a generic character. Change the talents and azerite traits to see the rotation for a different build. Load a specific character to customize the rotation to that character's actual talents, azerite traits, and current gear. For DPS specs, you will also get an instant single-target DPS estimate! Cool.
The talents and azerite traits on this generic character are not meant as recommendations.
The talents and azerite traits on this generic character are not meant as recommendations.
Copy from game with Ctrl+C and paste here with Ctrl+V
Armory or Log
Altar of Storms
Sisters of Elune
The Forgotten Coast
The Venture Co
Chamber of Aspects
Confrérie du Thorium
Conseil des Ombres
Culte de la Rive noire
Der abyssische Rat
Der Rat von Dalaran
Die ewige Wacht
Die Silberne Hand
Festung der Stürme
Kult der Verdammten
La Croisade écarlate
Marécage de Zangar
The Venture Co
Zirkel des Cenarius
Using the rotation below with your talents, azerite traits and current gear, in AoE you can do:
A bunch of DPS
It is really hard to give a single number to shoot for in AoE because each fight is different. The number of adds and how frequently they appear can heavily skew things. If your team has a lot of burst AoE, your personal damage might look lower even if you are playing perfectly. The most important thing is to save your "big stuff" for AoE moments and otherwise execute a good rotation.
Using the rotation below with your talents, azerite traits and current gear, on Grong you can do:
If you are not getting close to this and feel like you understand the rotation, try the basics section at the top of the guide for help on improving your general performance. If you consistently do this much damage, keep it up. If you do a LOT more damage than this, post in our forum with some combat logs or something so we can steal your ideas and put them into the guide.
Azerite Traits (Choose up to six spec-specific traits)
Choose the level of play you wish to view
This level is optimized for high-level human players.
The most basic level. A good base on which to build more optimized rotations.
There is a really great website for picking gear, you might have heard of it: askmrrobot.com
On a more serious note, if the rotation in this guide looks good to you, then our gear optimizer will pick the right gear for you. The two are programmatically linked - you don't need to worry about any human contamination. The rotation in this guide is rendered directly from the simulator. The gear rankings are created with the simulator. Proprietary algorithms find an answer customized to you insanely fast. That whole gear problem? Solved.
Some of you might be wondering, why aren't we telling you to "sim yourself" like you see in most other guides? Wouldn't that be even better? We don't think so. Simulators are a model of humans playing WoW. This model is not perfect and it is inherently noisy. Our gear optimizer takes all that data and filters out the noise. If you want to read more about this, you can check out our blog.
We do in-depth analysis of rotations. Below are a few of the more interesting tests that we ran.
The DPS/HPS/TUF Delta shows how much the tested rotation changes DPS/HPS/TUF compared to the base rotation. The Top Tier Setups column shows what percentage of setups with near-optimal DPS were better, the same, or worse when using the tested rotation. The All Setups column shows the same percentages across all setups tested.
We develop our rotations using a tried and true process familiar to everyone: Guess and Test. Our guesses can usually be well-informed based on our experience in-game, community discussion, examining combat logs, etc. Sometimes we test other people's ideas, sometimes we test our own. The important part is that a fair test is done so we know what is actually important for rotations.
To create a fair test, we auto-generate talent and gear setups that sample across all relevant builds. It is important to test against more than one setup and it is also important to test against only relevant setups. We are able to do this quickly by combining our simulator and optimizer to generate the test data.
Every single test we do while developing a rotation is not shown below. Our goal is to show some of the more interesting or controversial tests. We value real data over internet heresay - if an idea is good, the tests will back it up. It is also important to know how much certain rotation tweaks actually affect results, if at all.
This section is under development. Over time we will post more and more tests. If there are specific tests that you would really like to see in this section, let us know on our forum!
This spec is coming soon!We have done rotation analysis for every spec, but we are still in the process of cleaning it up so that it is presentable, and not just a bunch of ones and zeroes in a computer. You can check out the Elemental Shaman guide for an example of what it will look like for all specs when it is finished.
When our simulations match logs of top-ranked players, we know that our model of the game is working well. It demonstrates that the DPS estimate given in this guide is a realistic goal and that our rotation can get you a top rank. It also acts as one last sanity check to make sure our spells and items are implemented correctly in the simulator, and that our rotations can be done by a real player in a real situation.
We share log comparisons of the most popular builds, but we also look for top-ranked logs with alternate builds. Our talent data shows many more viable builds than are represented in the majority of logs. When we find people using those builds, we like to highlight it so you can feel more comfortable choosing something viewed as "off-meta".
The Heroic version of the Grong fight is our current boss-comparison model for Battle of Dazar'alor. We script actual timing and movement requirements for the fight to make it as realistic as possible. During movement, the rotation has you use movement-friendly spells and gap-closers when available. We then compare the Heroic Grong simulation to top players with appropriate gear for the fight by importing their exact setup directly from the log.
Also note that when looking at a single combat log, things will always be different than the averages shown in a simulator. A simulator executes the fight thousands of times and gets an average. You will raid far less than that and one single attempt might be really low or really high. We have tried to find representative logs that don't have anything too extreme.