Friday, November 09, 2007

Guide to Blessings

Table of Contents

I. The Basics
II. The Blessings
III. Blessing Priority for each Class
IV. How to Organize Your Paladins
V. Mods

I. The Basics

Blessings are powerful buffs that paladins can cast on allies. In raids, Blessings are the most desired contribution of paladins, and most 25-man raids bring at least 3 paladins in order to maximize the number of Blessings.

A Greater Blessing lasts for 30 minutes, costs a reagent, and is cast upon an entire class at the same time. The normal versions of the Blessings last for 10 minutes and are cast on a individual. A paladin can only cast one Blessing on a player at one time. If she casts another Blessing, it will overwrite her first one. Each player can have a blessing from each paladin. Thus, if there are 3 paladins in the raid, each player should have 3 Blessings.

There are also three "tactical" Blessings: Protection, Sacrifice, and Freedom. These blessings last for 30s or less and will overwrite other Blessings. Paladins often forget about these Blessings, but they are useful in specific circumstances. However, the rest of this guide will only consider the long-term Blessings.

I'm a firm believer that paladins are responsible for determining which Blessing should go on which player. Multiple people crying for different Blessings is tiresome. It's okay to remind a paladin if a Blessing (especially a normal one) wears off.

II. The Blessings

Blessing of Salvation reduces the threat generated by the target. Salvation is the first and greatest of the paladin Blessings and should almost always be the first Blessing cast. Salvation is not a safety net, it is a "damage-enabler". It allows DPS to do up to 42% more damage. They can start earlier, hit harder, and not waste time/energy/mana on threat dumps. Some DPS (rogues, mostly) will try and complain about Salvation, and request Might or Kings instead. My philosophy is that if you don't need Salvation, you aren't doing acceptable damage.

Blessing of Might adds Attack Power, both melee and ranged. It will generally add more damage than Kings, even accounting for the additional crit. Thus it is usually the second Blessing of choice for classes that rely on Attack Power.

Blessing of Wisdom adds significant mana regeneration. Again, the amount of mana returned is generally much more than the extra mana gained through Kings, and it is the second Blessing of choice for the mana-using classes.

Blessing of Light increases the healing done to the target by Paladins. It's usually the second Blessing placed on tanks, and the fourth or fifth Blessing placed on the raid. It does add a large amount of +healing, but only for the paladins, so it's value greatly depends on the number of paladins in the raid. As a rule of thumb for blessing tanks, if you have enough paladins to make Light useful, you have enough paladins to cast both Kings and Light.

Blessing of Kings increases all stats by 10%. It is the 11-point talent in the Protection tree. Most healing paladins will dip into Protection to pick up Kings. Kings is the first Blessing placed on tanks because it increases the tanks' health. It is generally the third Blessing placed on the raid. Kings is a very powerful Blessing, and is the reason most raids use at least 3 paladins. Unlike the other Blessings, Kings scales with your gear. At the very high end, it may be a better choice than Might or Wisdom.

Blessing of Sanctuary reduces incoming damage by a small amount, and deals Holy damage on a block. It is the 21-point talent in the Protection tree. It is important to note that Sanctuary's damage reduction comes before armor. Usually, only a Protection paladin picks up Sanctuary, though a Holy paladin will sometimes go 40/21/0. While it isn't a bad Blessing, it isn't as useful as the other Blessings. It is helpful on a tank handling adds that are to be AoE'd. I also prefer Sanctuary over Light as the fourth blessing on the raid, as it helps dampen the effect of splash damage, which non-paladins are usually healing.

II. Blessing Priority for each Class

Warrior (tank) - Kings, Light, Sanctuary, Might
Warrior (DPS) - Salvation, Might, Kings, Sanctuary, Light

Druid (bear) - Kings, Light, Might, Sanctuary
Druid (cat) - Salvation, Might, Kings, Sanctuary, Light
Druid (other) - Salvation, Wisdom, Kings, Sanctuary, Light

Warriors and druids usually cause the biggest hassles when organizing buffs. DPS warriors do not have ways to drop threat, so Salvation is very important to them. At the same time, putting Salvation on your tanking Warriors ends extremely badly.

As for healers, I generally prefer to put Salvation on them first. It's safest, and you don't want to lose your healers to adds, or if the tank gets incapacitated.

Hunter - Might or Wisdom, Wisdom or Might, Kings, Sanctuary, Light
Hunter (Survival) - Kings, Might or Wisdom, Wisdom or Might, Sanctuary, Light

Because Feign Death is a complete aggro wipe available every 30s, hunters do not need Salvation. Additionally, not having Salvation will give them more control over trapping and improve the effect of Misdirect. Might will usually do more damage on short fights, but Wisdom will do more on long fights.

Hunter pets get the same Greater Blessings cast on the Warrior class. This is a source of great amusement to paladins.

If you have a Survival hunter with Expose Weakness, Kings can provide more DPS for a 25-man raid. The hunter needs at least 800 Agility for this to be the case.

Mage - Salvation, Wisdom, Kings, Sanctuary, Light

Paladin (tank) - Kings, Light, Sanctuary, Might
Paladin (DPS) - Salvation, Might, Kings, Wisdom, Sanctuary, Light
Paladin (healer) - Wisdom, Kings, Salvation, Sanctuary, Light

Paladins are all over the map as well. Since paladin heals are innately low-threat, you can get away without Salvation. As well, paladins wear plate, so if a healer must pull aggro, it's better to let a paladin do so.

Priest - Salvation, Wisdom, Kings, Sanctuary, Light

Shaman (healer/caster) - Salvation, Wisdom, Kings, Sanctuary, Light
Shaman (Enhancement) - Salvation, Might, Kings, Wisdom, Sanctuary, Light

Rogue - Salvation, Might, Kings, Sanctuary, Light

Warlock - Salvation, Wisdom, Kings, Sanctuary, Light

Warlock pets get the same Greater Blessings cast on the Warlock class. If the warlock uses an Imp, make sure that Phase-Shift is turned off while Blessings are being cast. A phase-shifted Imp will not receive any Blessings.

IV. How to Organize Your Paladins

Given all the conditions in the last section, setting up paladin blessings can seem like a daunting task. This is the system that I use to assign paladin blessings. You don't need the full 5 paladins. If you only have 2 or 3, just drop the remaining Blessings.

Paladin 1 (should have Kings and Improved Wisdom)
- Greater Kings on the Warriors. If you have a third paladin, cast Greater Light instead.
- Greater Wisdom on Hunters.
- Greater Salvation on everyone else.
- Cast individual Salvation on the DPS warriors.
- Cast individual Kings on the paladin or druid tanks. Again, if you have a third paladin, cast individual Light instead.
- Cast individual Kings on Survival hunters. If you have a third paladin, stay with Greater Wisdom on all hunters.

This position is the most annoying one in the raid, as you have to make sure that the DPS warriors have Salvation but the various tanks do not. If necessary, you can use Blessing of Sacrifice or Freedom to "clean off" Salvation. If you don't have any tanking warriors, you can cast Greater Salvation on the warriors.

Paladin 2 (should have Improved Might and Wisdom)
- Greater Might on Hunters, Rogues, and Warriors.
- Greater Wisdom on everyone else.
- cast individual Might on Retribution Paladins, Enhancement Shamans, and Feral Druids.

Paladin 3 (should have Kings)
- Greater Kings on everyone.

Paladin 4 (should have Sanctuary)
- Greater Sanctuary on everyone.

If you don't have a paladin with Sanctuary, just use Paladin 5

Paladin 5
- Greater Light on everyone.

If necessary, paladin 4 or 5 could also cast individual Wisdom on Retribution Paladins and Enhancement Shamans.

This system makes it easy for paladins to buff. There's only one complex buffing strategy, that of Paladin 1. All the other paladins are responsible for one or two Blessings at most. So give the extra responsibility to your paladin who is best at remembering to rebuff.

Finally, remember that Blessing priority can also change on specific fights. If there's a lot of splash damage, you might want to prioritize Kings over Might/Wisdom. If threat is not an issue in the fight, you should drop Salvation to the bottom of the priority list.

V. Mods

I recommend the mod PallyPower to keep track of your Blessings. You can assign Greater Blessings by class, see the time remaining on each Blessing, and the range of people in each class. You can also see the Blessings being cast by other paladins who are using the mod. You can cast individual Blessing by right-clicking, allowing you to easily rebuff people who die.


  1. Excellent read. Just a few small nitpicks.

    I find it is Hunters who complain when they get Salvation more than the Rogues. Since a Hunter's threat wipe is on a 30 second cooldown, they usually only let me nail them when we have 4 pallys in raid (or when they pull aggro on a boss and I refuse to give them anything else for the rest of the night). Rogues can vanish and have a passive melee threat reduction, but I've found that most of them prefer Salvation to Might as the first buff.

    Most people I've played with also preferred Kings as a second Blessing over Might/Wisdom. I personally find the increased mana pool, crit chance, and healing better than the regen (which can be compensated for by chain-chugging mana potions). And especially in higher endgame where there is a lot of raid damage going out the extra 500-600 health on everyone helps a ton. I know a fair number who also prefer Wisdom over Kings (Restoration Shamans in particular), so I think this is more of a personal choice issue. Both are excellent buffs.

    And I can not recommend PallyPower enough. If you don't have it, get it now.

  2. Great guide, next time people are screaming for blessings I at least know that I know what's right. If only they listened then...
    Ow and you forgot the greatest power of pallypower; if one of the paladin's who has the mod is leader/assistant, he can assign other paladin's blessings! This makes sure everyone has the right blessings.

  3. One thing about individual salvation, we usually have 3 paladin and 3 warriors in the raid. One of the warrior is usually fury warrior. With PallyPower, we can have the paladin who bless light on warrior individually assign salvation on the fury warrior, that way, he can do more damage without pulling aggro.

  4. Great commentary on paladin blessings. The one rough patch here is when you have every incarnation of a class in a raid. In our 25-mans, we typically have at least 1 of each type of druid, and have been known to have 1 of each kind of shaman on a few occasions. Organizing blessings quickly becomes a hassle, especially if you don't consistently have 3 paladins in your 25-mans (we don't yet, but we're working on it). In those cases, minimizing individual blessings is crucial, and as such we've re-worked some of the prioritization. For our situation, we typically go with paladin #2 putting Greater Kings on druids, with paladin #1 putting up Greater (Improved) Wisdom, and giving feral Might. Similarly with shaman, we go with Greater Salvation and Greater Kings, just because they're blessings that all specs can use. If you're running into the same kind of issues we have been (multiple specs within a class), changing blessing orders to something that's less beneficial to individual specs, but beneficial to all specs may help with raid blessings.

    Also, to those who say that "they know the right blessing" for each class, remember odds are that other classes know their class mechanics better than we do, and other players know how they've built their toons, and a different blessing may well be better for them. One of our hunters is Survival and has built himself around agility, giving hunters Kings over Wisdom is huge for him. To make up for no wisdom, we can try to put them with a mana battery, or keep JoW up whenever possible. Likewise, since our healers are good about patching up warlocks when they have to Lifetap, we can make Kings they're second blessing of choice over Wisdom, and let them Lifetap when needed.

    Great advice, and wonderful theorycrafting, but don't be afraid to switch things up to your unique situation. I know I'm probably going to change some of my blessing order around after seeing this post. By the way, where did you find the calculations showing the benefit of Might over Kings? I'd love to read more on that.

  5. I've always wondered why PallyPower is so beloved. The Blizzard UI now allows you to see the time remaining on buffs you cast on party members. All you need to keep your buffs up is the ability to look for this indicator and to keep track of anyone who dies prematurely and rebuff them. I have blessings on my toolbar and raid groups in a corner of my screen; that's all I need.

    Maybe it's because I haven't tried a blessing mod like this ... but trying to script some complicated blessing order into a mod seems so much more bothersome than simply keeping track of the 25 people in the raid and what each person needs.

  6. Pallypower is so beloved because when you have multiple paladins in a raid, you can see what blessings the other pallies are using, and it makes coordination a lot easier.

    One note to add about hunters. Hunters will generally want a different blessing, depending on their spec. BM and Surv hunters want Kings, and MM hunters want might. Neither of them really want wisdom that often due to their own mana restoring ability. Awesome article all around though!

  7. dazanna, I usually don't bother with Salvation on the hunters. It gives them better control when trapping, and they should know how to Feign Death. As well, they get a serious benefit from both Might and Wisdom.

    If you need to burst mobs which are being tanked on a specific fight, then Salvation might be a good idea.

    As a general comment about Hunters, I once asked in the Hunter forums which blessings they wanted. The thread degenerated into a fight about Might and Wisdom. So I just try and give out both.

    I should put in a comment about how Kings moves up in importance if there is a lot of splash damage, and Salvation moves down if threat is not an issue.

    jablaylo, PallyPower organizes things for you more than anything else. It's easier to set up your blessings at the start of the run, rather than remember mid-way through. Saves your brainpower for more important things.

    I used to do Blessings like you do, but I tried out PallyPower, and really liked it.

    Finally, regarding Kings. Kings does scale while the others don't. So there's probably a point where Kings will outdo Might, but that's at the very high end.

  8. For Warlocks, Kings should be above Wisdom. The additional 700> Health that I can convert to Mana is more important then the mp5.

    70 Warlock - Stormrage

  9. Nice! As I have yet to get into a raiding environment, I have yet to try Pallypower. But I've definitely have heard of it before.

    Also, as an ex-hunter, I'd rather have kings/might before salvation. As I'm FD'ing every 30 seconds to enable damage output.

    ...oh and one last thing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Felguard/Voidwalker get the warrior class blessing as well? I've noticed this in the staging area for AV... =)

  10. "Finally, regarding Kings. Kings does scale while the others don't. So there's probably a point where Kings will outdo Might, but that's at the very high end.

    A few quick numbers.

    For a warrior, paladin, or shaman you gain 2 Attack Power per point of Strength. In order to reach the 220 Attack Power from non-talented Might from Kings you would need to have 1100 Strength base. For Improved Might you would need 1320 Strength base.

    Rogues obtain 1 Attack Power from 1 point of Strength or Agility. Therefore, to get the Attack Power from Kings equal to the amount granted by Might they would need 2200 Strength + Agility (untalented) and 2640 Strength + Agility (talented).

    Hunters only get 1 Attack Power per point of Agility. It would take 2200 Agility (untalented) or 2640 Agility (talented) to equal Might.

    Might will always give more Attack Power than Kings in every real game situation. The value in Kings lies in the fact that it increases your total health, mana pool and crit chance in addition to giving Attack Power.

  11. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Felguard/Voidwalker get the warrior class blessing as well?"

    It doesn't in raids. In raid situations, warlock pets get the warlock's blessing, while hunter pets get the warrior's blessing (that last one makes no sense to me, at all).

  12. Actually, the Felguard might get the warrior Blessings. I'm pretty sure the Imp, Succubus and Felhound get the warlock Blessings, and I am not sure about the Voidwalker. I'll have to test it out.

    As for hunter pets getting warrior Blessings, it makes a bit of sense if you look at what Blessings end up on the pets. If you have 2 or 3 paladins in a raid and you follow my Blessing scheme, you usually have:

    Hunters - Wisdom, Might
    Warriors - Kings, Might

    Hunters - Wisdom, Might, Kings
    Warriors - Light, Might, Kings

    Arguably the Warrior array is a better match for Hunter pets than the Hunter array would be, especially if you only have 2 paladins.

  13. Great point about Salvation and potentially 42% extra dps.

    I’d wager that you’d rarely get this full benefit as dsp unless you are far over-geared compared to the tank. But even in normal raid scenarios, I recognize salv as my best dps buff. This is true even for a rogue, and even more true for ranged casters or other melee. Hunters I agree can function fine without.

    I generally trust my pallies to deal out blessings that work best for their group plan. It requires they have an understanding of the classes they are buffing, and of the fight placed before the raid. My pally comrades have that.

    - Jason (DPS Liberation Front)

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  15. As an Affliction Warlock, I want Salvation then Kings. Mana regen is not my main concern - I can drain my Imp's mana and my own Health in order to gain it back;
    I can keep Dark Pacting and Life Tapping indefinitely.

    My Imp of course, prefers Wisdom!

  16. Can I still kick Paladin ass when they bless me with Salvation in BGs?

  17. Just a quick mention about your buffs to paladin tanks, you list kings light sanc and might.
    As a paladin tank myself i would much rather have wiz over might even more so when offtanking and running low on mana from lack of damage taken is a big problem. Paladin tanks are caster tanks and mana is much more important to them than melee damage.

  18. As a Demonology Warlock, I place a third vote for Kings over Wisdom. Not only can I Life Tap/chug pots for mana, but my Int and Sta increases my pet's Int and Sta. This in return increases my Spell damage thanks to Demonic Knowledge.

  19. Locks definitely want Kings before Wisdom. Ideally we will be able to have both, but in the event that there are only two pallies I will take salv and kings over salv and wisdom any day.

    I am 100% sure that the felgaurd does not get the same blessings as I do. I see might on mine all the time in raiding situations.

  20. The thing about hunter blessings is that for non MM hunters AP is not the entire game, the assorted stuff from kings is very nice. Particularly since pet stats are based on hunter stats in many areas so the kings buff on the hunter helps him and the pet. Other thing is that generally wisdom is worse for hunters then even salvation, as hunter should be drinking on trash pulls and not need mana there of course, and on bosses just chain chug fel mana pots with a basic shot rotation and going oom is not a huge problem. Course, it is nice if you can get it. But I'd rather have salv then wisdom most times.

  21. I know this post is quite old but I only have one thing to say I feel is wrong. I just finally leveled my paladin, so started looking for help as a tank and came across this website (which I think is great).

    I have a 70 hunter with about 150 played days so I know that class fairly well. Now that I’ve leveled up my pally and am now buffing I run into all those same requests. I know it gets frustrating to have 24 other people asking for something different then what I assumed they would need. I always remember fighting with paladins who kept giving me salvation when I asked for something else. A large majority of pallys feel the same as Dazanna does (who left a post about buffing hunters). Please trust me when we ask for you not to put salvation on us.

    Now, of course everyone plays their class differently and some do not know how to control their aggro (you will never fight with a mage when giving them salvation). Hunters that know what they are doing, have control of their aggro, and know when to dump or hold onto aggro should be able to tell you that they know they do not want salvation. I've been playing and raiding for over 4 years and as things have changed for some classes, hunters have more ways to displace their aggro with misdirect every time their CD is ready.

    Also that is one of the jobs of some hunters in raids, and even 5 mans. I want to be able to pull aggro off a healer or another cloth wearer. If I have salvation using misdirect, distracting shot, aimed shot, and straight dps makes it really hard to do so. I will not run any instance or raid with salvation on me, if I can't reason with the pally giving me salv I cancel it myself and deal with one less buff. Now disregard this for all the dumb ass hunters out there that give us a bad name, realistically don’t need salvation either because they probably wont do enough dmg to even come close to other agro stealers.

  22. On trash pulls, especially when traps may be needed, I can see a Hunter without Salv. For any boss fight though, you get Salv. FD every 30 secs if ya want, any dps worth having in a raid, can easily become threat capped if they try. If you click off Salv more then once, I'll be clicking remove.