Continuing on from the last post, let's say that this whole shield mastery just didn't work out. What would be an interesting ability to replace it?
So far, Masteries should not apply all the time, and they should be somewhat unique. So what's interesting about holy paladins? In the past we've been known for our single-target healing, but directly increasing those is pretty boring. We have Hand spells, but they're used too infrequently to really be a useful mastery.
Beacon of Light is another iconic spell. But the last time Beacon got too strong, it got overpowered, and ended up pigeon-holing us. As well, it's actually possible that a Holy paladin might not have Beacon in her spec. It's unlikely, but possible. Having a mastery tie into a technically optional ability is probably not the best of ideas.
My thought is that there are four possibilities.
Judgement is a signature paladin spell. It's also something that we cast a lot. (You should be Judging on cooldown for the mana return.) So maybe something that triggers off Judgment would be interesting. Some ideas:
"After casting Judgement, the effectiveness of your next 3 healing spells is increased by X%."
"Casting Judgement causes 5 players with 5 yards of the target to be healed for X% of the damage done."
"Casting Judgement places a debuff on the target that lasts for 15 seconds. The effectiveness of your heals on the target of the debuffed target is increased by X%."
(The third is a bit awkward, and possibly overpowered, but it's a nod to our tank healing days.)
2. The Holy Power system
The Holy Power system is fairly unique among healers. Playing off this might be interesting:
"Increases the effectiveness of Word of Glory and Light of Dawn by X%."
"Your direct heals have a X% chance to generate a point of Holy Power."
The problem with the Holy Power system is that too much HP generation causes us to have excess mana, and that always leads to trouble.
In the past, paladins have always cared about critical heals, mostly because of Illumination. Tying crits to mana is a bad idea, but there are other options:
"Increases the bonus healing done by critical heals by X%."
"Your critical heals heal the target for an additional X% over 6 seconds."
This might even make critical strike rating a more attractive stat.
4. Instant spells
This is new to Cataclysm, but we actually have a significant chunk of instant spells: Holy Shock, Holy Radiance, Word of Glory, and Light of Dawn. Maybe:
"Increases the effectiveness of your instant cast healing and damage spells by X%."
(Damage spells just for fun and flavor.)
The problem with this would be PvP as instants are very powerful there.
That's just some brainstorming over possible replacement Masteries for Holy Paladins. Any other ideas?