Sunday, April 05, 2009

Optimizing Judgements in 3.1

3.1 will bring some changes to paladin Judgements. As a result, the optimal way to Judge in a raid is unclear. Here is a breakdown of the issue.

  1. Holy can only Judge Light or Wisdom from range.
  2. Protection cannot share a Judgement with another spec because Judgements of the Just will be lost.*
  3. The maximum amount of healing from Light comes from Retribution.
  4. Wisdom and Justice have the same effect regardless of which paladin Judges it.
  5. Wisdom increases the DPS of the raid by allowing DPS to spend more time in full burn mode.
  6. Justice generally does nothing useful.
* I'm not 100% sure on this point, but I think it's the current accepted wisdom.

Solution 1: Ret judges Light, Holy judges Wisdom, Protection judges Justice

Pros: Maximizes healing from Light; no interference with Judgements of the Just

Cons: Relies on Holy to keep Wisdom up, Holy has to judge at least once every 20 seconds, does not guarantee 100% uptime on Wisdom

Solution 2: Ret judges Wisdom, Holy judges Light, Protection judges Justice.

Pros: 100% uptime on Wisdom; no interference with Judgements of the Just

Cons: Much lower passive healing from Light

Solution 3: Ret judges Light, Holy judges Light, Protection judges Wisdom

Pros: 100% uptime on Wisdom; no interference with JotJ; Holy spends the minimum amount of time judging possible

Cons: Slightly less than maximum heal from Light possible; if Protection is not tanking the focused mob, Wisdom is not helping the bulk of the raid.

Personally, I like Solution 2. It maximizes DPS, and leaves healing in the hands of the healers. Large amounts of passive healing is very helpful, but can be compensated for by direct heals. In my mind, ensuring maximum DPS is more likely to win the fight for you than extra undirected healing.

However, there are other opinions. Ferraro argues for Solution 1, insisting that it is not very hard for a Holy paladin to have 100% uptime on Wisdom. I'm skeptical of that claim, especially as the fights get harder. If something goes wrong, Judging is the first thing to be dropped by a Holy paladin, in favor of spamming heals.

Solution 3 is pretty good, but if you don't have a Protection paladin, you end up having to go back to the Light/Wisdom debate. As well, if the Protection paladin is off tanking her own mob in a corner, then the raid doesn't get the benefit of her Judgement.


  1. At least in our raids, there is so much overheal across the board and JoL is usually the highest, it seems like potentially losing some mana in return for a questionable healing benefit is an unwise choice. I agree with you...option 2 seems to make the most sense.

  2. Personally, I'm more of a fan of Solution 3. I just posted something like this yesterday to my guild's forums in an effort to try to get our pallies judging as efficiently as possible in 3.1.

    We generally have our prot pally tanking a variety of mobs, so I'll personally switch up to wisdom on the main mob if she's not on it (ie: Sartharion or drakes while she's on the flame adds), but like you said, it really is the first thing to go when healing gets really intensive.

    The whole judgement debuff thing is very much a bad logic puzzle, to be honest, and while I understand the overpoweredness of 40yd Judgement of Justice in PVP, I hate how PVP is going to screw with our judgements in PVE.

  3. Noob question here: why do you want to judge Justice in a raid?

  4. I can say from first hand experience that there's not a single encounter in Ulduar where the healing is so intensive that a Holy paladin can't spare a global cooldown or two, and if you do anything but spam Holy Light the entire time, the raid wipes. Not even Brutallis was that unforgiving.

    Whether you move to position - and there's a lot of this on almost every boss - or just before or after a Holy Shock, you can always find a time to Judge. I never found a legitimate excuse or reason to let a 20-second buff to drop off the boss.

    But again, as I said in my post, no combination (or lack thereof) should be vital to the raid. Whatever gets the boss dead and sparkling, go with it.

  5. Noob question here: why do you want to judge Justice in a raid?

    You judge Justice when you want the side-effects of Judging, but you don't want to interfere with the other Judgements. The actual "can't run away" effect doesn't really do anything.

    For example, Prot judgements have the side-effect of slowing the mob's attack speed. If Prot does Justice, the other two specs won't overwrite the Prot judgement.

  6. Ret also applies bonuses to their judgement (Heart of the Crusader), however since it appears as a seperate buff it might remain despite having their judgement overwritten. You ignore Solution 4, which is what our guild uses:

    Ret judges Light (best healing), Prot judges Wisdom (consistent uptime), Holy judges Justice (nothing lost if they don't judge consistently.)

  7. Prot - Wisdom - Holy - Wisdom - Ret - Light?

  8. Yeah. I had to do some digging to work out why Thrornir's solution isn't used.

    It seems so obvious. Or are you just worried about panicky Holy 'dins?

  9. That's for the typical raid group, anyway... we've got three rets including myself and no tanks and only one holy pally. So essentially, one ret does light and one does wisdom, and the other does whatever the hell they feel like at any given time.

  10. I think it's absolutely hilarious when the Ret paladin in our raids judges Light. I mean, I ask him to just because he DOES SO MUCH DAMN HEALING with it, and it makes my job easier. But when he judges light he _easily_ surpasses me in healing on any boss fight and usually lands in the top 1 or 2 healers (out of 7) for that encounter. =/

  11. Thrornir, your Solution 4 works right now, but it won't work in 3.1. Justice is being taken away from Enlightened Judgments because of PvP.

    So if Holy is at range, they will only be able to judge Light or Wisdom.

  12. Hmm.. something to think about. Our pallies are typically so disorganized that I have enough problems trying to get proper seals up. As prot I'm usually judging wisdom.

    I need to have a pally class-meeting, and discuss the changes.

    Might be easier now since the holy pally who didn't even keep beacon up left the guild last night in a tif over loot.

  13. It might be worth mentioning the various Judgement talents that are incentives for each spec. A Holy Paladin would be stupid not to judge every 20s since they would be missing out on the healing bonuses from their Judgements of the Pure talent. Prot also has a debuff that reduces the target's attack speed by 20%, but I'm not sure if that will affect bosses.

  14. I've been looking at this issue for our guild too. I am the Ret Pally and we usually have a Prot Tank. I usually tell her to judge wisdom and I will judge Light.

    But we might need to examine that especially if on different mobs.

  15. Go for it, Karl - I recently came to the realization myself that I'm by far the most senior Paladin in my guild (in terms of retpally time, not actual age, lol) and therefor it was my responsibility to take charge as much as was needed in terms of assigning buffs and blessings. I have a little macro made up:

    /raid * Paladin Blessings *
    Might =
    Wisdom =
    Kings =
    * Paladin Judgments *
    Wisdom =
    Light =

    And before the raid starts I just fill in the appropriate names. I'm also thinking of adding Paladin Auras as well :P

  16. Pallypower now handles blessings AND auras... maybe it should have a seal assignement row too. I only play 10man so it is not something you cannot work out in voicechat, but for a 25 man, I'd probably make the 'class leader' work much easier.

    My dream Pallypower would also list the amount of health each pally's Judgement of Light would heal, similarly to how it tells you who has improved blessings, but you can probably guesstimate it without much of an issue.

  17. @Rohan

    That's annoying from the PvE standpoint.

    In that case, Ret with Light, Holy with Wisdom and Prot with Justice is the most logical setup, but I find that when we have holy paladins, they don't judge consistently as far as I can tell by debuffs, which means wisdom will fall off.

    If prot and holy both judge wisdom, you run into variable speed attacks from the boss as the tank's -20% speed bonus is applied and removed depending on who landed the last judgment.

  18. Alarius said:
    A Holy Paladin would be stupid not to judge every 20s since they would be missing out on the healing bonuses from their Judgements of the Pure talent.

    Actually, that's not the case. Holy Paladins gain 15% spell/melee haste for 60 seconds each time they judge something (anything!) because of Judgements of the Pure. There's no healing bonus and it's a 60 second buff. Therefore, in 3.1, given 1 ret, 1 prot and 1+ holy paladins in my guild's raids, I'm recommending the holy pallies and rets judge light (for uptime) and the prot judges wisdom (for uptime).

    In healing-intensive fights (OS3D and many fights in Ulduar) the holy pallies just aren't going to be able to keep a buff up all the time due to all the damage being done out there. Losing 3 globals a minute doesn't sound like a lot, but in practice, it really can be.

  19. This comment applies to Pick Up Raids, and does not apply to elite, well coordinate Guilds.
    I play a raiding Healadin with Naxx-25 gear. In my opinion, you should not rely on a Holy Paladin to keep full uptime on any Judgement. To be honest, Judging is not even in my casting rotation during a Raid-25 Boss. Also note, some raiding Healadins, choose not to spend talent points on Judgements of the Pure, or Improved Judgements. This means shorter range (20) and longer cooldowns (10). I currently have those talent points in 5/5 Kings and 2/2 Improved BoM. Though I admit, I am excited to move those 5 Kings points into something new, when 3.1 goes live.
    In my dozens of PUG Raid experiences, Pallys do not coordinate their Judges all that often. And n00b Pally's overwrite each others' Judgements all the time. BTW, Pick Up Raids have the same problems with overwriting each others Blessings and Beacons! Gasp!

    Prot = Wisdom (for uptime)
    Ret = Light (for uptime and bonus healing)
    Holy = nothing - cause they might be too far away and busy keeping a couple of Tanks, themselves, and the Raid alive.

  20. There's an easier one.

    Holy = wisdom, prot = wisdom, and ret = light.

    There, done.

    The MOST you will lose on Judgements of the Just is 8.9 seconds. If that 20% for that amount of time was the difference in a raid, the holy paladin takign ANY time to judge was likely enough to wipe anyway.

    Seriously folks, stop acting like holy has to do anything but judge once a minute to keep their haste buff. It is dumb. And with that in mind, the donwtime on wisdom is WAY worse than losing JoJ for a few seconds.

    If you are worried about JoJ that much, have the holy = light and ret = light. Not like the prot paladin's HoTC won't still be on. So a few seconds of the hoyl paladin's poor light and then ret's is back on.

    The prot paladin should never relinquish a judgment needed by the raid for justice. They will be using that judgment every 9 seconds.

  21. As a Holy Pally I've found that these two macros make it easy to keep my judgements up.

    Judges mob if targeted or target of target if you are healing
    /cast [harm] [target=targettarget] Judgement of XXXX

    Heal-through macro, allowing you to heal the judged target immediately
    /cast Divine Favor
    /cast Divine Illumination
    /cast [help] [target=targettarget] Holy Light(Rank 13)

  22. Ret judges light, prot and holy judge wisdom. there is no need to put justice up there.

    that or both prot and ret do lights. Really option 1 is the best bet. and no holy wont override your 20% speed debuff, that was hotfixed a while ago.

  23. a question please.
    Why retri judgement of light heals more than the rest?
    thanks :)

  24. @zopalki

    "Judgement of Light scales off of both Attack Power and Spell Power at the same time. So, add both values together and whichever Paladin ends up with the highest number will have the strongest Judgement of Light. Its debatable whether or not the Spell Power a Ret Paladin gets from Sheath of Light is included in this, but even if not, Ret and Prot Paladins almost always have more Attack Power than a Holy Paladin has Spell Power and so are better Light judgers (especially Ret)."

  25. The rotation will have to be changed against General Vezax in Ulduar. If you judge wisdom he will apply the "Corrupted Wisdom" debuff on you.

    Corrupted Wisdom
    Your insight into Judgements of the Wise is intensified but corrupted by General Vezax's Aura of Despair, hindering your ability to heal.

    Thus holy pallys will be better off casting JoL in that boss, leaving JoW to the ret or prot.

  26. That's for judgement of the wise, not wisdom..your information is incorrect.

  27. There isn't an option for Ret judges Wis, Prot judges Light which imo is the best default option.

    Prot's Light is almost as good as Ret's and it means Wis is up all the time on the focus target.

    If you want absolute optimisation then go for:

    multiple mobs - Ret JoW, Prot JoL
    single mob - Prot JoW, Ret JoL

    Holy should always judge JoJ if you have both a Prot and a Ret.

  28. "So if Holy is at range, they will only be able to judge Light or Wisdom." (Rohan)

    They just have to stand close to the boss or run in and judge as we did before 3.0

  29. "They just have to stand close to the boss or run in and judge as we did before 3.0"

    I don't believe that's possible for fights like KT.