For many World of Warcraft PVP players with paladins has given WoW players a way to play with a tank spec on a healing paladin. Unlike a true deep holy paladin, the prot holy pally is built to survive, and is very hard to kill. Surprisingly, the heals are very good rather than lackluster as one would expect with an off-spec. A flash of light spell from a well equipped character can crit for over 9000 hit points.
Deep Holy Paladin Specs are Poor
The holy tree is excellent for PVE but it stinks for PVP. Putting 51 points in the holy tree is a waste for PVP. The lousy deep holy tree is the reason why many World of Warcraft players are using the prot holy spec.
The problem with deep holy is that they are vulnerable to crowd control and can’t interrupt other players frequently without talents available in the protection tree. Although some deep holy paladins think that the holy shock spell is essential, the truth is that the survivability and crowd control given in exchange is much better for PVP.
Although there are deep holy paladins in the highest rated World of Warcraft arena teams, the protection healer spec is much more forgiving for those who don’t have as much skill in PVP. Even beginners in WoW PVP do much better with prot healing than with deep holy due to extra survivability.
Use Holy Gear
This WoW spec is not for tanking. It is for healing. Remove any PVE tanking gear, and put in all holy gear with spellpower. A good goal is over 2500 spellpower when combined with protection talents that increase spellpower when stamina increases, which results in very high flash of light crits. PVP gear from the honor and arena vendors work fine with this.
PVE gear is not necessary to be successful in this PVP spec although some tier 8 and tier 9 pieces that help with hit or flash of light would be helpful to have.
Advantages of the Protection / Holy Spec
Here is an example 18/53/0 prot holy pally spec. Some of the key advantages of this spec include:
- Divine Plea cannot be dispelled due to 2 points in Guarded by the Light, allowing the paladin to regenerate mana and to be very resistant to mana burns
- 20 second Hammer of Justice to interrupt other players and allow the pally to flee
- Avenger’s shield to silence and cause damage every 30 seconds
- Protection talents that increase spellpower (Touched by the Light)
- Holy shield that can reflect a lot of damage to melee attackers
The disadvantage of this spec is that the paladin no longer has any instant heals such as holy shock. He must stand and cast in order to heal. A well-timed silence or interrupt during casting can turn the tide against the prot-healer paladin.
Counters to a Prot Healing Paladin
Don’t try to mana burn the pally. Instead, attack his partner and force the pally to stand still and heal. While the paladin is healing, interrupt his healing so he falls behind in helping his partner. When his partner dies due to lack of healing, it is game over for the paladin’s team. For melee, run away from the pally while divine plea is up, since divine plea is refreshed whenever a paladin’s melee swing is completed. Otherwise, the melee will guarantee that the pally never runs out of mana
The prot healer pally is a new, creative spec that rose from the ashes of the holy tree when WoW release 3.1 came out. If played properly, the prot holy spec allows for tank-like survivability and great healing. The prot healer spec makes PVP battlegrounds and PVP arena healing fun again. The days when paladins used to be the laughing stock of PVP in World of Warcraft are over.