Holy Priest Raiders Crib Sheet for 4.1

This is a lot more subjective than my paladin crib sheet.  Ultimately for dps there is an optimum way of doing things that produces the most dps.  If you don’t follow that, you might do less dps.  A few people will manage high dps without following the norm, but not many.

Healing is different.   The best healer is the one who manages to heal their assignment and help out a bit elsewhere if needed.  Throughput and mana management and all the other things you can consider about a healer are all dependent on the healing assignment and completing that assignment successfully is the measure of a good healer.

With those disclaimers, below is what I am doing as a Holy Priest.  If you are new to Holy Priesting you could do worse than copy what I am doing.  But depending on who you are healing with, what you are healing and your own style, you will want to make changes.  The below should get you started.  I’ve tried to note where I’ve gone against the Elitist Jerks advice so you can make a decision.  You could also use EJ as your starting point but their guide is a lot longer than mine.

Specs and Glyphs

  • 6/31/4
  • There are some talents which different people tend to change: Spirit of Redemption, Desperate Prayer, Rapid Renewal and to a lesser extent Darkness and Body and Soul.  Body and Soul is less useful if you are raiding with a Disc Priest.
  • The only utterly pointless talent in the Holy tree is State of Mind and its only been pointless since 4.1.
  • Use Prime Glyph of Renewal and Prime Glyph of Prayer of Healing.  There are probably another three valid choice for the third spot: Prime Glyph of Flash Heal, Prime Glyph of Lightwell and Prime Glyph of Power Word: Shield.  I chose the latter as it gives me a nice insta heal which works well with how I use the spell and with Body and Soul.  You may want to use the Prime Glyph of Guardian Spirit in certain situations.  I’ve not found one yet but I’ve also not done any heroic raiding.
  • Use Major Glyph of Circle of Healing and Major Glyph of Prayer of Mending. The others are situational but for general use at the moment I would take Major Glyph of Mass Dispel.
  • Minor Glyphs aren’t game changers but Minor Glyph of Fading is nice, as is Minor Glyph of Levitate and Minor Glyph of Shackle Undead.  Minor Glyph of Shadowfiend can still be nice too – though the Shadowfiend takes less AoE damage there are still some times when it can be one-shotted.

Abilities: Heals

  • Heal is your basic heal.  All other heals should be used only when Heal is inadequate for some reason.  That will be a lot of the time but it helps to think of other spells in reference to Heal.
  • Greater Heal takes as long as Heal to cast, heals for considerably more and costs more mana.  Its less efficient than Heal, but not particularly inefficient as long as the whole heal is needed.
  • Flash Heal is faster than Heal and heals for more, but costs a lot of mana.  Its inefficient but you will need to use it.
  • Binding Heal heals for nearly as much as Flash Heal and costs the same, but heals you too.  Bargin.
  • Prayer of Mending sits on a target and heals them when damage is taken.  Once it heals that target it bounces to another random target.  It can jump up to 5 times.  It will sit on a target for 30 seconds before disappearing if not used.
  • Lightwell is your single most efficient heal.  You can place it before a pull.  Remind your group to use it frequently.  It will not reduce their dps!
  • Prayer of Healing will heal all targets in a group.  Its efficient when you need to heal 3 or more targets.  You need to ensure your raid is set up for you to use this efficiently.  You need all your targets to be in range of each other and to be taking similar damage at similar times.
  • Circle of Healing instantly heals 6 targets.  Its not a mana hog so use it frequently.  Its a smart heal so it will heal the targetted person and then 5 other people in range who need it.  It has a cooldown.
  • A Holy Priest should always be in one or another Chakra state.  There are two healing Chakra states: Serenity and Sanctury.
    • Serenity is for single target healing.  It increases the effectiveness of your direct heals, allows them to refresh Renew and turns your Holy Word spell into Holy Word: Serenity.
    • Sanctury improves the efficiency of your AoE heals and Renew and reduces the cooldown of Circle of Healing.  It turns your Holy Word spell into Holy Word: Sanctury
    • In order to get into a Chakra state you cast Chakra and then use a spell that corresponds to the Chakra state you want to get into.  I normally use PoM or Flash Heal if I change state mid fight and PoM or Heal to set my state prior to starting a fight.
    • Put Holy Word: Chastise on your bar.  This will become one of the other Holy Word spells depending on your Chakra.
  • Holy Word: Serenity is an instant heal that costs very little mana and increases the crit chance of heals on the target for 6 seconds.  Use it often.
  • Holy Word: Sanctury puts a sparkling circle on the ground that heals anyone standing in it.  It is quite expensive mana wise and you should only use it when you know it will hit most of the group/ranged and healers.  There are lots of raid fights where this is very useful.
  • Power Word: Shield prevents damage from being taken rather than healing, though it also heals if you glyph it.  I use this in several ways (these aren’t mutually exclusive).  During a spike of damage on a tank to mitigate some of that spike.  To prevent damage on a squishy raid member.  To protect a raid member on very low health from dying while I cast a heal. And, because I have Body and Soul, to provide a speed boost to a player who is trying to get out of/stay out of bad.
  • Holy Glitter Nova looks pretty.  It heals a bit on up to 5 targets and does some damage to mobs around you.  There are very few actual uses for it but its pretty and you should use it at every opportunity (i.e. when you have lots of mana that you won’t need for anything useful and are bored).
  • Divine Hymn is your big cooldown heal.  It has a long cooldown (8 minutes) but is VERY powerful.

Abilities: Modifiers and Combinations

  • No matter what you are healing use Prayer of Mending on cooldown.
  • If you are tank healing you should do so in the Serenity Chakra state.  Use Heal where possible and Greater Heal when Heal isn’t quite good enough.  Put Renew on the tank.  Use Holy Word: Serenity frequently.  For heavy damage Holy Word: Serenity > Flash Heal > Flash Heal > Greater Heal (which will be faster and cheaper due to Serendipity).
  • If you are raid healing you should do so in the Sanctury Chakra state in most cases.  Use Holy Word: Serenity and Lightwell to keep people stable while you cast other spells.  Use CoH on cooldown and lots of PoH.  If only a couple of people need healing use Heal or Renew – frequent use of Renew requires more mana than Heal.  Use Flash Heal when you need to respond quickly and remember Serendipity also works to speed up and reduce the cost of PoH.
  • Surge of Light makes your next Flash Heal instant and free.  There is no bad here.  Any direct heal makes it proc, as does Smite.
  • Inner Fire increases your spellpower and armor.  Alternatively, you have Inner Will which reduces the cost of instant cast spells and increases your movement speed.  I use Inner Will most of the time.  It helps me save mana and live longer, which are more valuable from a little bit of throughput and mitigation of physical damage.
  • Shadowfiend returns a % of your maximum mana to you.  For personal regen you should combine this with Hymn of Hope as the latter will increase your maximum mana and therefore what you get from Shadowfiend.  However, in other fights you will want to spread your cooldowns and use Shadowfiend early so it will be available again.
  • Fade temporarily reduces you aggro.  Use it when adds are attacking you (standing next to a mage before you hit it is optional).  But remember it is temporary.  If a tank doesn’t get aggro on the mob before it runs out and you keep healing, it’ll be back!

Abilities: Utility

  • Hymn of Hope returns mana to 3 nearby raid members and increases their maximum mana.
  • Guardian Spirit basically stops a player from dying if they die while its active and gives them enough health that you can heal them.  Useful to prevent inevitable deaths of some kind, or for big spikes.  Its a bit buggy.
  • Dispel Magic removes two magical effects from a friendly target and one from an enemy target.  Yes you too can purge.  You need to ensure you can use this quickly as many magical effects do very bad things if you leave them on too long.  There is an addon called Decursive that does just this, but I use Vuhdo to do it.
  • Mass Dispel removes a magical effect from friendly targets in its range.  This saves mana and global cooldowns, but has a cast time.
  • Cure Disease removes a disease from a friendly target.
  • Fear Ward stops a target being feared.
  • Power Word: Fortitude and Shadow Protection add health and shadow immunity.  Make sure they are always up and recast them on a battle rezzed person where possible.
  • Leap of Faith is FABULOUS.  You basically grab someone and pull them towards you.  Useful for getting people out of bad.  Or into the position they are meant to be standing in (thou shalt stand in the middle on phase 1 of Nef as ranged dps).  Or for pulling people back up the lift.  It also adds a speed boost with Body and Soul.
  • Levitate lets someone float safely to the ground.
  • Shackle Undead is fairly effective.  It does tend to break randomly but can be recast.
  • A holy priest can only Mind Control if the target they are controlling can heal as well or better than they can.  There are some mobs in Vortex Pinnacle that allow this.  I’ve not found any others so far.
  • Psychic Scream makes a group of mobs who are very close to you run in fear.  Generally not for use in raids.  It has a short duration and a long cooldown.  It can be used to ease the first few seconds of a trash pull gone wrong or to interrupt Conversion on Cho’gall.  If you are going to use it, glyph it.
  • Mana Burn takes mana from a target … and doesn’t give it to you.  In fact it costs you mana.  Its been a long time since this had a use in raids, but you never know.


  • Intellect is the best stat.  You will always gain more intellect by going up an ilevel.  However, don’t upgrade Intellect at the cost of too much Spirit.
  • Spirit is important.  You should aim to have Spirit on most if not all of your gear.
  • You should aim for 12.5% Haste raid buffed which will give your Renew an extra tick.  After that you should reforge haste to Spirit or Mastery.
  • Mastery is the stat to stack.
  • Crit is bad.  Reforge it to Spirit, Haste or Mastery (as detailed above).
  • The 2 part set bonus for tier 11 is pointless.  The 4 part set bonus is very nice.

Gems and Enhancements

  • Use the Ember Shadowspirit Diamond meta gem.  You can also use the Revitalizing Shadowspirit Diamond, but Ember is generally better.
  • In a red socket use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby (+40 Intellect)
  • In a blue socket I tend to use Purified Demonseye (+20 Intellect/+20 Spirit) If the socket bonus is poor you could use Brilliant Inferno Ruby, but a little extra Spirit doesn’t hurt.
  • In a yellow socket I tend to use Reckless Ember Topaz (+20 Intellect/+20 Haste) or Artful Ember Topaz (+20 Intellect/+20 Mastery).  Again depending on the socket bonus you could use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby.  You need at least two yellow gems to activate your meta so use two of these somewhere.
  • Unless you have a profession that provides a better enchant, enchants and enhancements are:
    • Head: Arcanum of Hyjal (Guardian’s of Hyjal – Revered)
    • Shoulder: Greater Inscription of the Charged Lodestone (Therazane – Exalted)
    • Chest: Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats (+20 stats) or Exceptional Spirit (+40 Spirit)
    • Wrist: Enchant Bracer – Speed (+50 Haste), Exceptional Spirit (+50 Spirit) or Mighty Intellect (+50 Intellect)
    • Hands: Enchant Gloves – Mastery (+50 Mastery) or Haste (+50 Haste)
    • Waist: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle (Made by BS, BoE)
    • Legs: Powerful Ghostly Spellthread (Made by Tailor, BoE)
    • Feet: Enchant Boots – Haste (+50 Haste) or Mastery (+50 Mastery)
    • Weapon: Enchant Weapon – Hurricane (Haste), Heartsong (Spirit) or Power Torrent (Intellect) – each procs based on casts.
    • Off-hand (if you have one) Superior Intellect (+40 intellect)
  • Where you have a choice of stats start with any Spirit ones as you are gearing.  Once you have plenty of Spirit from elsewhere you can use Intellect, Haste (up to 12.5% raid buffed) and Mastery in that order of preference.

4.0.1 Ret paladin action plan

Its been a busy few weeks.  I got my Glory of the ICC Raider (10) last week and we’re working on getting some more drakes.  Lots of questions remain now that we’re facing patch 4.0.1 but heres what I intend to do.  I’ve tried to keep this as short as possible so if I missed things ask away.  Where I say something remains unchanged refer to the 3.3 Raider’s Crib Sheet.  I will reproduce the gear list for 4.0.1 shortly.  It will be in a new pdf format (making it faster to set up and keep up to date, and allowing for a site redesign).

This is not based on my own theorycrafting, but on reading all the information out there and trying to merge it into a plan.

The Basics

  • Paladins have a new resource called ‘Holy Power’ as well as mana.  Holy Power stacks up to three times and several spells, old and new, make use of it.
  • Ret palas have several new abilities you will be able to access.  Importantly, Templar’s Verdict, which is a hard hitting melee attack using Holy Power and Zealotry, which will make Crusader Strike generate more Holy Power for a short time.
  • Massive amounts of the game have changed, as with any patch, so I suggest reading the patch notes and MMO Champion or another new site.

I’m going for 3/2/31.

Three points (the two in Selfless Healer and the one I dropped into Long Arm of the Law) are completely optional and based on personal preference.  Technically, so are the points in Rebuke and Repentance, but those seem more obvious.

My Glyph choices are there too.  I don’t know which Prime Glyphs will be best, but I’m dropping Glyph of Truth (expertise) since I’ll be able to Reforge to the expertise cap.  CS is our major ability so that one is an obvious Prime.  Between the Primes relating to TV, Exorcism and Judgement I just don’t know.  Since you can learn them all and swap them in and out I’ll be getting four Primes and experimenting.

Major Glyphs are all about resources for Ret and should definitely be changed dependent on the circumstances.  I think Ascetic Crusader will always be good, but otherwise it depends – are you cc’ing something, are you using your AoE?  Swap your Majors depending what you need.

Minors are all dull.  I use LoH a lot so I’ve chosen that.  Apart from that I chose the two PvE Seal Minors for cheap Seal switching.

This is where the theorycrafting gets a bit complex.  Cap hit and expertise.  After this, your strongest stat is Strength.  Then it gets confusing.  Haste is, all other things being equal, a slightly better stat than crit.  However, all other things are not equal and under current conditions latency can make crit the better option (a key part of the effectiveness of haste is the reduction in the CS cooldown – theres no point stacking haste for a 3 second CS when your latency means you only get to use it every 3.3 seconds).  However, Blizzard has made some major changes to spell queueing and latency very late on and the impact of these isn’t clear yet.

For our purposes, assume haste and crit are pretty even.

Mastery is rubbish.

Agility is now bad.  Make sure you change out Agility based items.

You can use Reforging to ensure you make the hit and expertise caps.  You might also want to use gems to ensure you get two blues in there somewhere (hit will be a blue gem) so you can use your Chaotic Skyflare Diamond again.   I plan to keep my Nightmare Tear, drop in a Hit gem and then reforge any excess hit.  Apart from that I won’t touch my stats at this point.  Things will become clearer after a couple of weeks.

Gems & Enchants
I have no intention of regemming beyond getting in CSD.  I think what I was doing before 4.0.1 will still be optimal. If its not, I will regem once its clear its not, not experimentally when 4.0.1 hits.

Enchants should be fine.

(This section is already out of date due to buffs since it was written – please read https://morrighan13.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/retribution-in-the-new-world-order-one-week-after-4-0-1/ for the latest version.)

The basic rotation is simple: CS > Filler > CS > Filler > CS > Finisher

Finishers are those abilities using Holy Power:

  • Templar’s Verdict (Single target)
  • Divine Storm (Multi target)

Filler’s (in order) are:

  • Exorcism
  • Judgement
  • Hammer of Wrath
  • Holy Wrath
  • Consecration

Retribution Paladin Raider’s Crib Sheet

Cross posted at Big Hit Box on 24 November 2009

Since my crib sheet format seems to  be quite popular, I thought I’d produce a short form of the retribution paladin info.  Much shorter than my other guides, and the EJ guide.  But packed full of information.

Specs and Glyphs

  • Without DSac 5/9/57
  • With DSac 5/11/55
  • Use Major Glyph of Judgement and Major Glyph of Consecration.
  • Use Minor Glyph of Sense Undead, Minor Glyph of Lay on Hands, Minor Glyph of Blessing of Might.
  • For your last Major slot use Glyph of Seal of Vengeance if you are NOT expertise capped from gear.  If you ARE expertise capped from gear use Seal of Exorcism.

Abilities: DPS

  • Your ‘rotation is FCFS or First Come First Served.  Hit the best of the abilities that is available to you at any given time.
  • Priority order without 2P t9 set bonus from best to worst: HoW, CS, Judgment, DS, Cons., Exorcism, Holy Wrath.
  • Priority order with 2P t9 set bonus from best to worst: Judgment, HoW, CS, DS, Cons., Exorcism, Holy Wrath.
  • Only use Exorcism with a 2 point Art of War proc.
  • Only use Holy Wrath on Undead only.
  • You can only use Hammer of Wrath after the mob is below 20%.
  • Always stand behind the mob if possible.  This means it cannot parry you.  But only if standing behind the mob won’t cause you or your tank to die horribly.

Abilities: Utility

  • You can dispel magic, disease and poison and you should.
  • Spare CDs and Art of War procs can be used for Flash Heal.  So can non-spare ones.  You can’t dps if you die.
  • Use your Sacred Shield to reduce the damage you take.
  • Lay on hands is good.  So are bubbles, Hand of Salvation, Hand of Sacrifice, Repentance, etc.  Learn how to use all your utility in a fight.


  • Your hit cap is 8% hit (263 or 230 for Drenai).  You should ensure you are always capped.
  • Your expertise cap is 26 or 214 rating (lower for Humans and Dwarves with certain weapons).  You should strive for this.
  • After those stack strength, followed by critHaste and  Armor Pen are meh – don’t stack them but don’t avoid them.  The same is true of Agility and Attack Power.  Spellpower and Intellect are bad.
  • To see how your item rates against possible drops check out the Retribution Paladin Gear List.

Gems and Enhancements

  • Use the Relentless Earthsiege Diamond meta gem.
  • Use one Nightmare Tear +10 stats gem to activate it (this gem is prismatic and so counts as 1 red, yellow and blue).
  • Use any hit/expertise gems to help you reach the cap.
  • Use Bold Cardinal Ruby +20 strength gems in all slots, unless you have a yellow gem slot that will give you a +6 strength socket bonus or more.  Then use an Inscribed Ametrine +10 strength/+10 crit.
  • Unless you have a profession that provides a better enchant, or are enchanting for caps, enchants and enhancements are:
    • Head: Arcanum of Torment (Knights of the Ebon Blade – Revered)
    • Shoulder: Greater Inscription of the Axe (Sons of Hodir – Exalted)
    • Chest: Enchant Chest – Powerful Stats (+10 stats)
    • Wrist: Enchant Bracer – Greater Assault (+50 AP)
    • Hands: Enchant Gloves – Crusher (+44 AP)
    • Waist: Eternal Belt Buckle (Made by BS, BoE)
    • Legs: Icescale Leg Armor (Made by LW, BoE)
    • Feet: Enchant Boots – Greater Assualt (+32 AP)
    • Weapon: Enchant Weapon – Beserking

Retribution paladin glyphs

Cross posted at Big Hit Box on 26 October 2009

This post is being cross-posted at Big Hit Box.  Its my first time posting over there so let hope everyone is nice to me 🙂

Glyphs were introduced only in Wrath of the Lich King.  Made by Inscriptors, they add dps, utility or just plain random fun to your character.  They are rather strange and highly variable across classes.  As a healing priest, for example, there are about 6 fabulous major glyphs.  As a retribution paladin?  Well there two that are fairly good, another couple that are okay, a few ‘meh if I have to’ and the rest are more ‘wtf?’

Please note all these are PvE related comments.  For PvP its probably completely different.  I don’t really know as I’m terrible at PvP.

I’ve listed only Glyphs that are classed as retribution (by Wowhead) or are used by retribution paladins because they are good.  There are a lot of other glyphs.  Many relate to spells we don’t use, but Holy and Prot do, or that have effects we’d not be interested in.

The good major glyphs
Theres two really good major glyphs.  These are the ones you should absolutely have.

Glyph of Judgement – Your Judgements deal 10% more damage.
Yes please!  I’d like to volunteer for 10% more damage on one of my best abilities.  Thank you.

Glyph of Consecration – Increases the duration and cooldown of Consecration by 2 seconds.
This is the most common one for people who aren’t sure what they are doing to miss.  Its actually fab!  Think about what it does for a second.  For the same mana cost and global cooldown you are getting an extra two seconds on your Consecration.  The fact that the cooldown increases is irrelevant because the duration increases.

The last major glyph slot
What you put in this slot depends upon your gear.

Glyph of Seal of Vengeance – Your Seal of Vengeance or Seal of Corruption also grants 10 expertise while active.
Are you expertise capped from gear?  If no choose this!  Being expertise capped is a firm dps upgrade and something you should strive for.  What it means is that the boss can’t dodge your attacks as long as you are standing behind it.  The expertise cap is 26.  This contributes 10 expertise.  Thats expertise, not expertise rating.  So 10/26.

Glyph of Exorcism – Increases damage done by Exorcism by 20%.
Are you expertise capped from gear?  Yes.  I am.  I have the awesome looking Sharpened Obsidian Edged Blade from Onyxia.  Who wants a Justicebringer when swords look this cool?  It has a load of expertise so you can pop this Glyph back on if you find yourself in that situation.

The good minor glyph

Glyph of Sense Undead – Damage against Undead increased by 1% while your Sense Undead ability is active.
Why is it good?  Its the only minor glyph that improves your dps at all in any way.

The other minor glyphs
For your last minor slots you don’t have a lot of options.  There are no more glyphs to increase dps for minors.  I would suggest:

Glyph of Lay on Hands – Reduces the cooldown of your Lay on Hands spell by 5 min.
This is a utility spell you can and should use a lot so its a nice glyph.

For your last slot its not like you have a lot of choice.  There are no just for fun glyphs sadly.  And no reagent free glyphs (you’d think there would be one for death bubble at least!)   So I went for:

Glyph of Blessing of Might – Increases the duration of your Blessing of Might spell by 20 min when cast on yourself.
This is useful because it saves your a reagent while farming.  And because you can use it to juggle buffs (buff Wisdom on all those Holy palas and then throw Might on yourself).

Alternatively you might choose:

Glyph of Blessing of Kings – Reduces the mana cost of your Blessing of Kings and Greater Blessing of Kings spells by 50%.
For less time drinking after a wipe.

Not really worth it glyphs (major)

Glyph of Avenging Wrath – Reduces the cooldown of your Hammer of Wrath spell by 50% while Avengin Wrath is active.
There was a time when I had this glyph.  But that was a time when Seal of Martyr/Blood still existed and Exorcism only worked on undead.  This glyph is annoying because you have to save your wings for it.  Its really poor in comparision to the other major glyphs tho it is a very small dps upgrade.

WTF? glyphs (major)

Glyph of Crusader Strike – Reduces the mana cost of your Crusader Strike ability by 20%.
Riiight.  Now you will see people pick this up because they have mana issues.  However – retribution paladins do not have mana issues.  If you have mana problems you are just managing your mana poorly.  Before you nerf your dps try using Divine Plea more, Judging Wisdom and using mana potions.  If all those fail – you’re doing it wrong.  Go back and try again.  This glyph is bad.

I say this from experience btw.  I tend to Judge Light because I have Vindication.  I only ever run out of mana in a raid (10 or 25 these days) when I’ve forgotten to hit Divine Plea as often as I could have.  Or when I’ve had to heal/dispel/etc.  And then I just Judge Wisdom for a bit if we don’t have another ret pala.

Glyph of Divine Storm – Your Divine Storm now heals for an additional 15% of the damage it causes.
Healers heal.  You dps.  Again, never worth sacrificing your dps for.

Glyph of Hammer of Wrath – Reduces the mana cost of Hammer of Wrath by 100%.
Reduces the mana cost of something you can only use for 20% of a fight?  Only its not even 20% of a fight since everyone else has this type of ability too so the last 20% takes less time.  Nah.

Glyph of Seal of Command – You gain 8% of your base mana each time your use a Judgement with Seal of Command active.
Again with the mana saving!  I don’t need it.  Neither do you.

So in summary you should have:


  • Glyph of Judgement
  • Glyph of Consecration
  • Glyph of Seal of Vengeance (or Glyph of Exorcism if you are expertise capped from gear)


  • Glyph of Sense Undead
  • Glyph of Lay on Hands
  • Glyph of Blessing of Might

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