Friday, April 17, 2009

The Not So Useless Little Spell, After All!

In the past couple of months, I was re-acquainted with a spell that has been forgotten by most of the healing paladin community. This didn't happen as a result of a long, hard, and creative thinking process about ways I could improve my performance in raids. No... It happened during a fourth wipe on Maexxna, and we were wiping due to the lack of damage reduction on the tank during the enrage/web spray stage. I figured that, before I left the pug, I would give it one more shot, repair bills be damned. I had, by chance, opened my spellbook and was browsing through the protection spells, looking for Hand of Protection, as I didn't have it on my hotbar for some reason. As I was scrolling through, my eyes fell on Hand of Sacrifice, a spell I had not used since I stopped raiding Karazhan. 
Now, normally, Hand of Sacrifice would be used by protection specced paladins as a means of saving a group member from death in case of an aggro pull. It is, however, and excellent spell that will save a tank from dying in many situations. It has perfect synergy with Divine Shield. So how would you use it? I do it in situations where the tank will take an enormous amount of damage that the raid may not be able to heal through. You simply cast Divine Shield and then Hand of Sacrifice on your tank. The result is that 30% of the damage will go to you, and you will be protected by the bubble, so you won't be in any danger.Examples of some situations where you would use it:
Maexxna - the enrage happens at 30%, and there is a good chance that you will get web sprayed at least once. Usually the tank can use a damage reduction ability and survive. If you get sprayed twice during the enrage, however, the tank will probably die. The answer? DS and HoS.
Patchwerk: At 10% he increases damage done, meaning that hateful strikes do way more damage (as if they didn't do enough). 
It is also incredibly useful if another healer bites the dust, or you just pull too many mobs (heroics for example). 

The best way I have found is to use a castsequence macro, like this (/castsequence Divine Shield, Hand of Sacrifice). Of course, this is a very simple one, as I'm sure things like mousover target and such can be added. I'm sure that I have only touched the tip of the iceberg here, so feel free to add more uses in the comments section.

Edit: As Rohan mentioned in the comments section, the spell in Protection tree, Divine Sacrifice, is also usable as a way to mitigate raid damage, and can be put in a castsequence macro as well. While I think that it's a great way to mitigate dmg in 5 and 10 mans, it diminishes in a 25 man aoe raid situation due to the number of players taking damage. It does, however, beat Hand of Sacrifice if the tank is the only one taking damage at the time. 


  1. If you go into the Protection tree, you can get Divine Sacrifice, which is like Hand of Sacrifice but raid-wide. Then you can use your castsequence macro for that.

  2. That is true, but I prefer the crit available in the retribution tree, at least for now. Maybe if mp5 ends up being more useful in Ulduar, I will take Divine Sacrifice over Conviction. For now, though, HoS remains one of our best tank savers, imho, right up there along Lay on Hands.

  3. I was just thinking about this the other day, actually.

    Every Paladin I know has completely forgotten about these little tricks & tools that, situationally, are lifesavers.

  4. HoS is a vital tool to the PvP Holy Paladin... dropping it on your buddy can make you immune to LOTS of CC since the transfered damage will break sheep / sap / blind / repentance / etc.

    The spell I forget to use is Lay on Hands. I finally moved it to an easier to reach keybind (instead of '=' it is now 5)... but now I keep using it when I'm trying to put Beacon on someone (which was at 5 before :)).

  5. @ miself: That's because we are too busy beating our heads against global cooldowns trying to heal multiple targets with single target spells. They need to give us a viable aoe heal already...every other class has one, we should get one too.

  6. @ Anonymous
    Quit complaining about what we dont have and use these tips that people hand out. These are things that most rerolls and new palis do not know of and they have been lifesavers for a long time.

    If you wanted a HoT then go get a class that can have a HoT. I actually wish Blizz would quit listening to the QQ of folks and just tell people that if you do not like the tools you have try_______(fill in the class that has what you want).

    Good post, keep these coming because it makes me go back and think about the old tricks. Thanks!