Paladin Mastery Update: Finally, That’s Great, and It’s Still Not a Good Stat.

This was part of the changes listed on MMO Champion last night:

Holy

  • Illuminated Healing (Mastery) has been adjusted slightly so that if a paladin refreshes an existing copy of his or her own Illuminated Healing on a target, the new absorption amount will be added into the old absorption amount and the duration will be reset. The total absorption created can never exceed 1/3 of the casting paladin’s health.

This makes IH even more similar to the discipline priest’s Divine Aegis, which was changed to stack sometime during Wrath. This is one of the big things IH needs to not be, as has been put, “Teh Cooties.” It still won’t work with Holy Radiance, and it still won’t give a shield to the Bacon of Light target, but that’s a so-so issue. Let’s look at what might change for paladin’s style, first:

Before a boss, a prudent paladin might pre-cast holy lights and holy shocks on the tank, giving a starter shield up to 40-50k and ensuring 3 holy power before the fight begins. Likewise, if given breathing time in a PvP situation, a paladin that isn’t having mana issues (So, most of them in 2s, and less so in 3s and 5s) might try to get a shield up on themselves or their partners.

And… what else? That’s about all it changes for playstyle. It will provide a slight increase to following a cast bar with WoG for spike healing (Something I’m in a habit of doing in the first place, something I don’t think of as good or bad), especially with the throughput increase WoG is due in 4.2. It will help when tanks have an avoidance streak, but you’re still recovering from damage they’ve taken, so you can get a larger buffer.

It’s still a much lower value than Divine Aegis, and while it works with non-crits, it frequently works in such a way that it’s not really benefiting anyone. It still will never reach “substantial” values in a practical setting, where the target is taking continuous damage. It’s still an awkwardly designed mastery that causes conflicting feelings and leave many paladins pining for Sacred Shield.

But even in small amounts, mitigation is mitigation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone survive with 1000 health left, or less (I’ve even personally experienced the legendary “one health left”… While tanking, as I recall). This change will cause its increase to effective healing to be more stable– In my case, I’m expecting around 0.8-0.85% per point of mastery, though your mileage may vary. This change, along with the duration increase back in 4.1, means fewer shields are going to waste.

This change means my face will no longer contort in disgust when an upgrade has mastery, but it doesn’t mean I won’t be immediately reforging it to haste.

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