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World of Warcraft: Dragonflight – Holy Paladin Complete Guide

Quick Links

  • Why Holy Paladin?
  • Best Holy Races
  • Best Talents For Holy Paladin
  • How To Play Holy Paladin
  • Best Stats And Gear For Holy Paladin

With the introduction of World Of Warcraft: Dragonflight's new talent trees, many specs have received a variety of new builds. Holy Paladin is one such example, and a healthy number of viable builds have risen to prominence, providing the iconic healer with a plethora of enjoyable options. A flashy and powerful healing spec, Holy enjoyers, both old and new, are sure to find a playstyle to suit them.

This guide will teach you how to play Holy Paladin in PvE content, as well as suggest why you may want to try it out in the first place. The strongest available talent builds will be covered alongside the best healing rotations, consumables, races, and gameplay tips.

Why Holy Paladin?

The recommended advice when choosing a spec is always to play what you enjoy. You tend to perform better if you are having fun, and picking something just because it's parsing well at the time is not always a great option. Every spec has strengths and weaknesses, and Holy Paladin is no exception.

ProsCons
  • Great Spot Healer: Holy has always been excellent at healing large spikes of single damage and is one of the premier tank healers around without risking running out of mana.
  • Fantastic Utility: Thanks to being a Paladin, Holy possesses some amazing spells that can turn the tables during a fight and help keep your allies alive through more than just raw healing.
  • Good Damage: Many of Holy Paladin's builds have an emphasis on outputting damage to augment their healing. This makes them a strong choice on Mythic Plus when you need to meet that all-important DPS check.
  • Excellent Class Fantasy: Bursting with radiant light at every cast, Holy is a visually impressive spec to play, and produces some truly memorable moments.
  • Multiple Viable Playstyles: While many classes are pigeonholed into one or two builds, Holy Paladin players are at liberty to play around with multiple options.
  • Poor Mobility: Riding around on your Warhorse has its limitations, and you might be looking enviously over at that Druid effortlessly evading mechanics
  • Struggles with AoE Healing: While Holy can certainly perform well enough in this department, it lacks the easy-to-use options of other healers and has to work harder to heal a large group
  • Cooldown Dependent: When encountering periods of high damage, Holy can struggle without having a cooldown up, such as Avenging Wrath, as it relies mainly on burst healing.

Best Holy Races

Most players will pick their race based on visuals and one that they feel embodies their character. Saying this, some nice perks synergise well with playing Holy Paladin, so if you're not concerned with how your character looks, these are the best options in terms of power.

The difference between races in WoW is minimal, and you shouldn't feel you need to worry about choosing the 'strongest' race unless you are taking part in very high-end content or if you want to completely min-max your performance.

RaceRacial NameEffect
HumanThe Human SpiritGain two percent increase to all secondary stats
TaurenBrawnExtra two percent on critical damage and healing
Zandalari TrollEmbrace of Pa'kuChance for a four percent critical strike buff
DraeneiGift of the NaaruActive, which places a small heal over time on you or an ally (3-minute cooldown)

Best Talents For Holy Paladin

Holy Paladin Class Talent Tree

Wowhead Build Link
Paladin Class Tree
Row One
Lay on HandsExcellent single-target burst heal.
Blessing of FreedomRemoves all movement-impairing effects from you or an ally.
Hammer of WrathNice Holy Power generator, especially in Mythic Plus.
Row Two
Auras of the ResoluteYou will want to be in Devotion Aura except for niche situations, synergises excellently with Aura Mastery to provide a decent damage reduction for everyone within range.
Auras of Swift VengeanceRarely will you want to be in these Auras, but take it to progress down the tree, and Crusader Aura is nice for the open world movement increase.
Row Three
Blinding LightUseful AoE disorient in Mythic Plus.
Divine SteedYour mobility spell, the speed increase is substantial, so don't waste it.
Fist of Justice (2/2)Reduces Fist of Justice cooldown when spending Holy Power, Mythic Plus build only.
Row Four
Improved CleanseBuffs Cleanse to remove Poison and Disease effects.
CavalierTwo horses are better than one.
Seasoned WarhorseLonger horse is a better horse.
Greater JudgmentSmall damage increase, Mythic Plus Build only.
Row Five
Holy Aegis (2/2)Stats are nice, free Armor and Crit are always welcome.
Avenging WrathYour major healing cooldown, otherwise known as Wings, this is an integral spell to playing Paladin.
RebukeCan be very useful to help out your team with interrupting, Mythic Plus Only.
Row Six
Golden PathAdds a small heal over time to your Consecration; make sure to be in melee to make full use of this.
Judgment of LightA small heal from your Judgments, nice passive talent but not very impactful.
Blessing of SacrificeA key spell, gives you a strong external cooldown for your tanks or those taking heavy damage.
Blessing of ProtectionGreat spell that provides complete Physical Damage immunity to you or an ally, this can also be used to drop aggro on the target.
Row Seven
Seal of Mercy (2/2)Extra healing from your Golden Path.
AfterimageCreates an echo of your Word of Glory after spending 20 Holy Power, difficult to play around, but a nice passive healing increase.
Sacrifice of the JustThe more Sacrifices, the better.
Unbreakable SpiritReduces cooldown of Divine Shield, Divine Protection, and Lay on Hands; all great spells.
IncandescenceExtra damage from Consecration, Mythic Plus Build only.
Row Eight
Seal of Clarity (1/2)Proc that reduces the Holy Power cost of your next spender, can choose between one or two ranks, alternating with Aspiration of Divinity.
Aspiration of Divinity (2/2)Primary stat increase when Crusader Striking, can choose between ranks one or two, alternating with Seal of Clarity and depending on build.
Divine PurposeChance for free Holy Power spender procs when using previous spenders, can chain off itself and is very powerful for some random extra healing.
Hallowed GroundFlat damage increase to Consecration, Mythic Plus Build only.
Row Nine
Of Dusk and DawnA key talent, this gives you a healing buff when hitting five Holy Power and damage taken reduction when reaching zero
Seal of Might (2/2)Extra Mastery during Avenging Wrath
Seal of Alacrity (2/2)Extra Haste
Seal of the Crusader (2/2)Small damage increase taken proc, Mythic Plus Build only
Row Ten (Keystone Talents)
Seal of OrderAugments Of Dusk and Dawn to be even more powerful, but doesn't change its gameplay
Sanctified WrathMakes Avenging Wrath reduce the cooldown of your Holy Shock by 40 percent for its duration,

A shared tree between all three Paladin specialisations, the class tree allows you to pick up a healthy amount of useful spells, alongside some powerful passives. Your class talent tree route will vary slightly depending on your build, but the core spells remain very similar.

Being able to talent into an interrupt is great for Mythic Plus, and you can also invest in increased damage if you are comfortable with the healing requirements of your chosen content.

Most of your passive talents do not require you to play around them, with the notable exception of Of Dusk and Dawn, and its follow-up, Seal of Order. These talents are so powerful you will always be taking them, but they require some changes in how you play. The Dawn buff is particularly strong, and you should be aiming to build up to five Holy Power and spending to come back down to zero. Keeping both of the buffs up is doable, but focus on Dawn over Dusk.

Melee Build Talents

Wowhead Build Link
Holy Paladin Melee Build Talents
Row One
  • Holy Shock
Row Two
  • Holy Light
  • Light of Dawn
Row Three
  • Divine Insight
  • Divine Protection
  • Unending Light
Row Four
  • Aura Mastery
  • Rule of Law
Row Five
  • Shining Saviour
  • Protection of Tyr
Row Six
  • Light's Hammer
  • Radiant Onslaught
  • Tower of Radiance
  • Light of the Martyr
Row Seven
  • Commanding Light (2/2)
  • Second Sunrise (2/2)
  • Divine Glimpse (2/2)
Row Eight
  • Divine Toll
  • Beacon of Faith
  • Avenging Wrath: Might
Row Nine
  • Divine Resonance
  • Crusader's Might (1/2)
  • Awakening (2/2)
Row Ten (Keystone Talents)
  • Glimmer of Light
  • Blessing of Summer
  • Empyrean Legacy
  • Talent Build Code: BEEAwtJ2KpR8WbGzhz/jy2AP8AAAAAAQEAAAAAAAlASUSLJ0EpIhUSgWyBS0kgkSSyBSSUSJJBoEA

The standard build that Holy used throughout Shadowlands, it relies on reducing the cooldown of your Holy Shock via attacking with Crusader Strike. Staying in melee and attacking the enemies is core to playing this build at max effectiveness. The major strength of this build is the damage that it can output, and Holy Power generation is substantial due to all the attacks you will be performing.

Keeping Glimmer of Light up on as many people as possible is vital, and Holy Shock should be used nearly on cooldown. This setup can suffer when having to move far away from an enemy, as your ranged healing options are weakened compared to other builds.

Maraad's Build Talents

Wowhead Build Link
Holy Paladin Maraad's Build Talents
Row One
  • Holy Shock
Row Two
  • Holy Light
  • Light of Dawn
Row Three
  • Divine Insight
  • Divine Protection
  • Unending Light
Row Four
  • Aura Mastery
  • Rule of Law
Row Five
  • Shining Saviour
  • Protection of Tyr
Row Six
  • Light's Hammer
  • Radiant Onslaught
  • Light of the Martyr
Row Seven
  • Commanding Light (2/2)
  • Second Sunrise (2/2)
  • Divine Glimpse (2/2)
  • Untempered Dedication
Row Eight
  • Divine Toll
  • Beacon of Faith
  • Avenging Wrath: Might
  • Maraad's Dying Breath
Row Nine
  • Divine Resonance
  • Awakening (2/2)
Row Ten (Keystone Talents)
  • Glimmer of Light
  • Blessing of Summer
  • Empyrean Legacy
  • Talent Build Code: BEEAwtJ2KpR8WbGzhz/jy2AP8AAAAAAQEAAAAAAAlgkEl0SCNRKSIlAaJS0kgkSSyBSSUSJJBoEA

A more niche build is the Maraad's, which focuses on utilising the Maraad's Dying Breath talent. This causes your Light of Dawns to increase the power of your next Light of the Martyr. A spell that is normally only used as an emergency heal quickly becomes your primary source of healing, and you can output some exceptional burst when playing this setup.

Spot healing-wise, this build is probably the best in the entire game and could be pivotal in a difficult progression fight. However, it does take some adjustment to your normal gameplay and might take a little while to fully learn.

Caster Build Talents

Wowhead Build Link
Holy Paladin Caster Build Talent Tree
Row One
  • Holy Shock
Row Two
  • Holy Light
  • Light of Dawn
Row Three
  • Divine Insight
  • Divine Protection
  • Unending Light
Row Four
  • Resplendent Light
  • Aura Mastery
Row Five
  • Divine Favor
  • Protection of Tyr
  • Imbued Infusions
Row Six
  • Light's Hammer
  • Tower of Radiance
Row Seven
  • Divine Revelations
  • Commanding Light (2/2)
  • Second Sunrise (2/2)
  • Divine Glimpse (2/2)
Row Eight
  • Divine Toll
  • Beacon of Faith
  • Breaking Dawn
  • Avenging Wrath: Might
Row Nine
  • Divine Resonance
  • Awakening (2/2)
Row Ten (Keystone Talents)
  • Glimmer of Light
  • Blessing of Summer
  • Inflorescence of the Sunwell
  • Talent Build Code: BEEAwtJ2KpR8WbGzhz/jy2AP8AAAAAAQEAAAAAAAlIAlIJp1QKJRSJBKJS0kgkSSSSSUSJHIBoEA

A throwback to when Holy Paladin was a proper caster, this new build collects all the talents that benefit your Flash of Light and Holy Light spells. Instead of playing around melee, you are using your Holy Shock for Infusion of Light procs and spamming your casted heals to generate Holy Power when cast onto your Beacon.

This build plays very differently from the others and could be a fun new challenge for players tired of having to output damage to heal. However, missing out on that potential damage could be costly. The Holy Power generation in this build is exceptional, and it does not suffer as much as the others when moving out of melee.

Mythic Plus Talents

Wowhead Build Link
Holy Mythic Plus Talents
Row One
  • Holy Shock
Row Two
  • Holy Light
  • Light of Dawn
Row Three
  • Illumination
  • Divine Protection
  • Unending Light
Row Four
  • Moment of Compassion
  • Aura Mastery
Row Five
  • Divine Favor
  • Shining Saviour
  • Imbued Infusions
Row Six
  • Light's Hammer
  • Radiant Onslaught
  • Tower of Radiance
  • Echoing Blessings
Row Seven
  • Divine Revelations
  • Commanding Light (2/2)
  • Divine Glimpse (2/2)
Row Eight
  • Divine Toll
  • Beacon of Faith
  • Avenging Wrath: Might
Row Nine
  • Divine Resonance
  • Crusader's Might (1/2)
  • Awakening (2/2)
Row Ten (Keystone Talents)
  • Glimmer of Light
  • Blessing of Summer
  • Inflorescence of the Sunwell
  • Talent Build Code: BEEAwtJ2KpR8WbGzhz/jy2AP8AAAAAAQSAAAAAAAUSCQJSSKFRKJBlEokcgENRkkiESSUSRSEFEB

A hybrid between the caster and melee builds, for dungeons, Holy Paladin picks up a new selection of talents that empower their own damage and augment their burst healing.

Healer damage is very important when trying to push keys, and Holy is a good choice when it comes to DPSing. Consecration is vital to use on cooldown, and when weaving in your Crusader Strike, Judgment, and Holy Shock, you should be able to contribute effectively on the meters.

For higher keys, you will need to make use of your Flash of Lights to spot heal, and your low AoE healing might be tricky to get used to, so practice using your cooldowns to get you out of tough spots.

A nice bonus of playing Holy is that you will rarely, if ever, need to stop for mana.

How To Play Holy Paladin

Due to being a healing spec, Holy does not rely on a strict rotation. Instead, you will need to decide on a moment-to-moment basis how best to keep your group alive. Whether your group is taking damage, about to take damage, or if you need to deal damage has to be considered, and it makes for a playstyle where there is no set-in-stone rotation.

In essence, you want to build Holy Power and spend it on your strongest healing spells. Holy Power can stack up to five and can be spent in groups of three. Try not to waste Holy power by overcapping, and always be looking to generate, as your smaller healing spells are not sufficient enough to deal with heavy damage.

Your best healing rotation will vary depending on which build you are playing, but some fundamental spells you need to understand are:

AbilityExplanation
Beacon of Light/FaithYou should always have your Beacon on the target who requires the most healing. For dungeons, you can keep one Beacon on the tank, and transfer the other around depending on the situation.


In raids, having both on the tanks is viable, although a skilled Holy player will adjust them throughout the fight. The Beacons cause healing to be replicated onto that target, and you can generate extra Holy Power when casting on them.

Word of GloryWorld of Glory is your single target Holy Power spender and is a moderate instant cast heal. Many talents will augment this ability, but just know that this is your primary option for spot healing.
Light of DawnLight of Dawn is the AoE equivalent of Word of Glory, and fires a cone of healing in front of you. It provides another reason to play in melee. Some skill is required in terms of your positioning, as you will need to hit as many allies as possible.


Standing just behind the melee group is a good spot, and the 15-yard range is not very large, so make sure you are also in range of the tank(s).

Holy ShockHoly Shock is a core spell and casts a small instant heal. The cooldown is very low and can be reduced with certain talents, such as Crusader's Might.


With Glimmer of Light, you will want to be frequently using this spell, although don't expect it to fully heal somebody. It will also generate Holy Power, something you should always be looking to build so that you can fire off your stronger heals.

Divine TollDivine Toll is an excellent one-minute cooldown spell that fires off up to five Holy Shocks at nearby allies or enemies, depending on what is targeted. This is a very strong spell, particularly in dungeons, where you can often top up your entire group. Make good use of this in situations where you need quick AoE healing and Holy Power.

Some general rules to follow with any of the Holy Paladin builds are:

  • Build Holy Power with Crusader Strike, Judgment, and Hammer of Wrath, as well as Infusion of Light procs
  • Keep Consecration down underneath the enemies
  • Keep Judgment of Light (if talented) up on the boss
  • Spend Holy Power with Word of Glory, Light of Dawn, or Shield of the Righteous (for damage)
  • Use cooldowns such as Avenging Wrath, Divine Toll, or Aura Mastery to deal with heavy incoming damage

Holy Paladin Macros

One of the best macros you can use as a Holy Paladin is the mouseover macro, meaning you don't need to click player frames to heal them. You will have to make a macro for each ability you wish to mouseover cast, e.g. Holy Shock.

  • #showtooltip /cast [@mouseover,exists][@target,exists][@player]Holy Shock

Another helpful macro is using your active trinket(s) with your Avenging Wrath cooldown to further empower your healing/damage. You can easily do this by calling whichever slot the trinket is placed in, either 13 or 14.

  • #showtooltip /cast Avenging Wrath /use 13

Sometimes you will want to cancel certain buffs. For example, Blessing of Protection will make you completely immune to Physical Damage, but there may be times when you need to be hit by an ability, and instead of right-clicking the buff, you can use this macro to remove it.

  • #showtooltip /cast Blessing of Protection /cancelaura Blessing of Protection

If you are talented into Rebuke for Mythic Plus, you might need to be interrupting enemies, and setting them as your focus target will allow this macro to interrupt them instead of retargeting them during the fight.

  • #showtooltip /cast [@focus,harm,nodead] [ ] Rebuke

As a healer, you often cast utility spells on other players. Instead of targeting their player frame, you can instead use this macro, e.g. for Blessing of Sacrifice

  • /cast [@NAMEOFPLAYER] Blessing of Sacrifice

Best Stats And Gear For Holy Paladin

Once Season One begins, you will find the majority of your BiS (best in slot) PvE gear will come from the Vault of the Incarnates raid or high-level Mythic Plus. Before that, however, there are certain pieces you can target that can reliably be sourced from either Mythic Zero dungeons or early Renown levels.

Although your best stats will vary between builds, all of them heavily rely on Haste, and this list will prioritise acquiring as much of that as possible. Here are the following recommendations for your Best in Slot Pre Raid gear.

SlotGear NameSourceBoss
HeadDecay Mother's Wrathful GazeBrackenhide HollowDecatriarch Wratheye
NeckBromach's Disentombed LocketUldamanBromach
ShouldersPauldrons of Immutable TruthUldamanChrono-Lord Deios
BackFireproof DrapeRuby Life PoolsKokia Blazehoof
ChestCuirass of Irreparable MadnessRuby Life PoolsUmbrelskul
WristsReinforced Fisherman's VambracesIskaara TuskarrRenown Level 14
HandsRelic Handler's GauntletsDragonscale ExpeditionRenown Level 12
WaistTrapmaster's Utility BeltBrackenhide HollowGutshot
LegsDrake Hunter's GreavesThe Nokhud OffensiveGranyth
FeetOhn'ahran Plainswalker BootsMaruuk CentaurRenown Level 11
RingCircle of Ascended FrostHalls of InfusionKhajin the Unyielding
RingThunderous Downburst RingThe Nokhud OffensiveThe Raging Tempest
TrinketSustaining Alchemist StoneCraftedAlchemy
TrinketSpoils of NeltharusNeltharusWarlord Sargha
WeaponSpellboon SaberAlgeth'ar AcademyVexamus
Off HandCrystalized BulwarkThe Azure VaultUmbrelskul

The true pre-BiS gear is a full set of level 384 epic gear from Blacksmithing. However, at the start of the expansion, these pieces will be very expensive and may be tricky to acquire, depending on your gold reserves. This list shows you more easily obtainable gear, but if you want to splash out for the start of the season, those 384 items are the way to go.

If you can only choose one crafted item, then try to focus on acquiring your Sustaining Alchemist Stone, as it will be your best Trinket for quite a while.

If you are not able to craft one yourself as an Alchemist, you can place a work order to obtain one instead.

Stat Priority

Your primary stat is Intellect, which will increase the power of all of your abilities. Alongside this, there are four secondary stats available.

  • Critical Strike, which increases the chance for extra effective attacks and heals.
  • Haste, which increases your attack speed and decreases certain cooldowns.
  • Mastery, which increases your healing based on proximity to your target.
  • Versatility, which increases damage and healing as well as reduces damage taken.

As far as a general priority goes, your stats will change depending on what build you are running and what content you are taking part in. Try to adhere to the following orders:

For Melee and Maraad's Build:

  • Intellect > Haste > Mastery > Versatility > Critical Strike

For the Caster Build:

  • Intellect > Critical Strike to 24 percent > Haste > Mastery > Versatility > Critical Strike beyond 24 percent

For Mythic Plus:

  • Intellect > Haste > Versatility > Critical Strike > Mastery

It is heavily recommended you learn to sim your character, using the special healer simming website called QuestionablyEpic. This will be able to give you a very precise breakdown of all your gear and stats and allow you to develop a better understanding of your performance.

The above priorities are quite flexible, as their relative values will fluctuate due to stat breakpoints. For all-around gameplay, you should be trying to take the highest item-level gear you can acquire. This will provide you with the most Intellect, which is always your most important stat.

The exception to this rule are the Neck, Ring, and Trinket slots, where it is better to focus on acquiring your best stats, or the highest-performing healing/DPS Trinkets, sacrificing a certain amount of item level to gain these.

Gems, Enchants And Consumables

For customising your gear, there is nearly always the best option. Following on from the previous section on stat priority, you will normally want to increase your Intellect, followed by whichever secondary is best for your build. Buffing your gear correctly and using the proper consumables will provide a large bonus to your healing and can prove pivotal in saving your allies in a tight spot.

Your best gems are:

  • One Fierce Illuminated Diamond (Intellect and Haste)
  • Multiple Keen Ysermerald for raiding (Haste and Mastery) or Energized Ysemerald for Mythic Plus (Haste and Versatility)

As with all consumables created via professions, you need to try and use the highest quality gems you can find, which will increase their power.

Your best enchants are:

Gear SlotEnchant Name
WeaponEnchant Weapon – Sophic Devotion
NeckTiered Medallion Setting
CloakEnchant Cloak – Regenerative Leech
ChestEnchant Chest – Reserve of Intellect
WristsEnchant Bracer – Devotion of Leech
LegsTemporal Spellthread
FeetEnchant Boots – Plainsrunner's Breeze
RingsEnchant Ring – Devotion of Haste

Your list of consumables is as follows:

  • Phial: Iced Phial of Corrupting Rage
  • Potion: Potion of Chilled Clarity (for Melee/Maraad's), Aerated Mana Potion (for Caster), Elemental Potion of Ultimate Power (for damage)
  • Health Potion: Refreshing Healing Potion
  • Food: Grand Banquet of the Kalu'ak
  • Weapon Buff: Howling Rune

As with gems, try to procure the highest quality consumables you can, and remember to be well-supplied before taking on any end-game content.

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