While every encounter is different, there are typically two schools of thought to paladin healing spells: Holy Light or Flash of Light. A Holy Light paladin will stack as much intellect and haste as possible, making their Holy Light reactive and potent, while allowing them to cast as long as they need to. Holy Light already has the throughput built in, it just needs the speed and longevity.
Flash of Light paladins focus on spell power and critical strike chance, since FoL is so cheap in mana that it can essentially be spammed indefinitely. It doesn't take much haste to push FoL to its cap, so the crit/MP5 gear that floats around is usually aimed at a FoL paladin who relies on FoL crits to provide a tangible throughput bonus. Spell power rules for the FoL paladin, due to FoL already being cheap and reactive.
In short, you can either make your heavy-hitting heal more efficient and faster, or you can make your quick, cheap spell more powerful. Either way, you are attempting the same goal: to have a quick, powerful heal that won't run your mana bank dry. I suggest Holy Light builds to anyone not intimately familiar with healing as a paladin, as it really lets you hit every healing problem with a huge hammer that is guaranteed to solve it.
Holy Shock is best suited for multi-target healing, especially after an AoE damage burst. You can Holy Shock one target and then move onto healing the next, which simply starts your spam of 1 second heals that much sooner. High tank damage situations are usually better suited with casting a bigger heal instead of Holy Shocking and then casting, as you need to be guaranteed there is a big heal on the way sooner rather than later. If you have 4 people with damage taken, use Holy Shock to boost one and work on healing the others. Otherwise, you're better off just mashing Holy Light or Flash of Light as usual.
In terms of other spells a holy paladin will use, we have two core buffs: Sacred Shield and Beacon of Light. I prefer to Shield and Beacon two separate targets, as I am not likely to directly cast a Flash of Light onto the Beaconed target. I would cast heals onto the non-Beaconed tank, healing both tanks, and providing the Infusion of Light/Sacred Shield/Flash of Light HoT to my target. Any time that Beacon isn't active, you're losing nearly 50% of your healing capability for no reason.
Divine Plea plays an integral part in a paladin's quest to maximize their healing yet not drain all of their mana. The proper use of Divine Plea to restore mana is the sign of a great holy paladin. Knowing when you can sacrifice 50% of your healing without letting someone die comes with experience.
INTELLECT. Brilliant Autumn's Glow or Brilliant King's Amber, based on your budget. Intellect in every slot, every time, regardless of socket bonus. There are no exceptions. While spell power or MP5 might be nice, intellect simply returns more for your investment than any other gem. Now, since our Insightful Earthsiege Diamond meta gem requires a red and blue gem in addition to all of our yellow Intellect gems, I recommend using a Royal Dreadstone to fulfill both requirements with one gem. You can also use a Nightmare Tear to meet the requirement. I usually put this multi-color gem in my helm, to ensure that my meta requirement is always met, and because holy paladin helms have a history of having a red/blue socket with the best socket bonus of any piece of gear we have.
For a Holy Light paladin, we have four true glyph options:
- Glyph of Holy Light – A must-have, this provides our only real measure of AoE healing, and is super useful on fights with heavy AoE damage where the splash heal can be absorbed by the melee.
- Glyph of Beacon of Light – Great for any fight with multiple tanks, it also helps offset the duration of Beacon of Light from Sacred Shield, allowing you to refresh them at different times. This can be a huge mana saver if used properly.
- Glyph of Seal of Wisdom – By reducing our mana costs by 5%, we help maintain our mana-hungry Holy Light spam, while also boosting Illumination's effectiveness.
- Glyph of Holy Shock – I've seen raiders drop one of the above glyphs (usually Beacon) for Glyph of Holy Shock, to give them more instant healing options for fights where quick reaction times spell the difference between life and death.
- Glyph of Divinity - Quite the mana boost no matter who you target for Lay on Hands, this glyph will yield some significant mana return if you are able to use LoH on yourself, giving you nearly 8,000 mana. It costs you a glyph spot and use of LoH on someone else, but if you don't find yourself using the spell often, consider this glyph to make LoH worth your while.
12. Enchants for the endgame
- Mace/Sword – Mighty Spellpower or Major Intellect
- Shield – Greater Intellect
- Helm – Arcanum of Blissful Mending
- Cloak – Greater Speed (or Lightweave Embroidery for tailors)
- Shoulders – Greater Inscription of the Crag (or Scribe alternative)
- Chest – Powerful Stats (Intellect is better than mana)
- Bracers – Exceptional Intellect
- Gloves – Exceptional Spellpower (or Engineering alternative)
- Belt – Eternal Belt Buckle for an extra socket
- Pants – Sapphire Spellthread (since Spirit is worthless)
- Boots – Tuskarr's Vitality for Holy-Prot, Icewalker for Holy-Ret
- Rings – Greater Spellpower for enchanters