Intellect – Why it’s that good for Healadins


My post about paladin mana regen has been wildly popular.  I’ve found it linked all over the place, so I wanted to do a follow-up on it, explaining what exactly INT will net you.  That and because crowing about INT is what I do.  What can I say, I’m a fangirl.

– Some background and basics –

I gem full INT, except for the gems I need for my metagem.  My reasons for this are very simple, really: more INT means I have more mana which means I can cast more spells.  I gem INT so heavily because it is difficult to really maximize the base attributes in any other fashion.  I also tend to choose to enchant everything with INT if such an enchant exists for the same reason.

Whether you need as much mana as I run with depends on what you’re healing (10-mans vs. 25-mans, hardmodes vs. normals) and what other healers you’re working with.  I always gear towards the hardest content we do, which right now is Twins-25-hardmode and Anub-25-hardmode.  My raiding group tends to run very heavy on single target healers, which means I find myself using Holy Light more to spread out the small AoE healing it gives.  I also run the 51/17/3 spec, as the raid utility of Divine Sacrifice is worth more than the great healing bonuses received by running 51/2/18.  We also always have at least one other healadin in our healing set-up and at times we run three, which means I have to be able to change my thinking rapidly and be flexible to make the best of the situation.

There has been quite a bit of discussion about “Holy Light builds” vs. “Flash of Light builds.”  The two have very different gearing requirements and healing methods.  Gemming for INT when running with a FoL set-up is not recommended because FoL is so mana efficient.  HL set-ups require far more mana.  I will say right now that I don’t like FoL builds, mostly because I find them severely limiting.  My philosophy is also to plan for the worst, which means having enough mana to bomb Holy Lights for an entire fight with as much through-put as I can pump out.  There are plenty of times when I can sit back and keep people up with Flash of Light without any issue, but the “big guns” are there for when I need them.

A quick technical note is that the talet Divine Intellect increases a healadin’s total INT by 10%.  If I take this into account while number crunching, I will make note of it.  It is important to keep this bonus in mind while comparing gear/gems/enchants.  (ie. +20INT gems become +22INT for healadins)

– INT as through-put –

Let’s face it, through-put isn’t the purpose of INT as a stat.  Paladins get lucky in that we get more than just crit from it, but it still is much more of a mana regen stat than anything else.  The fact that it can be considered both at all is part of the reason it leaps ahead in usefulness when compared to MP5.  MP5 gives no through-put at all; at least INT gives some spellpower and crit.

Healadins get a lovely talent called Holy Guidance which increases our spellpower by 20% of our total INT.  This may not seem like much (4.4 spellpower per epic quality INT gem, taking into account Divine Intellect), but it can really add up.  As an added bonus, the amount of spellpower gained from that INT increases with Blessing of Kings, while straight spellpower on gear or gems does not.  To put it in an easy formula…

10INT = 2.42SP
10INT = 12.1INT with Divine Intellect and Blessing of Kings
12.1 * .2 = 2.42SP with Holy Guidance

Thus, a +20INT gem gives you 4.84SP, adjusted for Divine Intellect and Kings.

The other through-put increase gained from INT is critical strike.  Crit is an unusual stat when it comes to paladin healing, as it is often lost to overheal.  Generally speaking, we don’t plan our heals around the chance that we could crit, since if it -didn’t- we’d be in trouble.  (This may change with the new “healing philosophy” Blizzard is coming out with, but I’ll run with what we have right now.) This problem of crits being mostly overheal is especially true when it comes to Holy Light.  That is not to say that it isn’t a good stat for through-put.  I often find that for easy fights, I can keep a tank up with only FoL due to well-timed crits and it always warms my heart to see the AoE spread from a glyphed crit Holy Light.  Healadins don’t get any sort of bonus to the amount of crit obtained through INT, other than their class specific constant.  The formula is very easy to follow.  If you mouse over your Intellect stat on your character sheet, you’ll see the total from the below.  The 3.336 in the formula is the class constant we gain as paladins.  Ours is the highest of any of the healing classes.  Yay, us!  To determine how much crit you can get from, say, an INT gem, simply omit this.

([INT / 166.66667] + 3.336) = Crit % from INT

10INT = .07259% crit
10INT = 12.1INT with Divine Intellect and Blessing of Kings
12.1 INT / 166.66667 = .07259%

Thus, a +20INT gem gives you .14519% crit chance, adjusted for Divine Intellect and Kings.

If you prefer your numbers as a rating…

Crit % * 46.91 = Crit rating

Thus, a +20INT gem gives you 6.6657 crit rating, adjusted for Divine Intellect and Kings.

The only through-put stat healadins don’t gain from INT is haste rating, which makes it an extremely well-rounded stat.  Below I have a chart comparing the item budgets for easy  reference.

20INT = 23SP = 20 Crit Rating
1INT = 1.15SP = 1 Crit Rating
6.6667 crit rating from 20 INT (Div. INT and Kings) = 20 Crit Rating
4.84SP from 20 INT (Div. INT and Kings) = 23SP

– INT as mana regen –

I’ve talk about this before, so I’m not going to rehash all the numbers again.  (Read here for my comparison of crit vs INT vs MP5.)  You can see from the numbers posted, that the mana regen from INT blows away the competition, point-for-point.  I have to stress again that taking item budget into account is very important when comparing mana regen stats.  A quick chart for comparing what you get as far as budgeted mana regen stats is below.

20INT = 10MP5 = 20 Crit Rating
1INT = .5mP5 = 1 Crit Rating
6.6667 crit rating from 20 INT (Div. INT and Kings) = 20 Crit Rating
17.75 MP5 from 20 INT (calculations here) = 10MP5

– Now, after all that thinking… –

When you look at how INT compares to the other stats, you just get more bang for your buck.  Spellpower, crit and MP5 are all rolled up into one tidy package.  This makes INT the most well-rounded of all the stats for healadins, giving you the most options to work with.  Before Illumination was nerfed so heavily, crit rating was our bread and butter for that very reason.  Any stat that gives a healadin both through-put and mana regen is the -best- stat in my book.  When Blizzard decided that critical strike was just too powerful for paladins, we turned to this little beauty.  It’s not quite as overwhelmingly amazing as crit was back in the day, but nothing ever will be again.  (Those were interesting days, weren’t they?)

It is always important in gearing to keep a keen eye on the balance of mana regen to healing through-put.  Balancing it out so that you’re ending the really tough fights with just a sliver of mana left can be difficult to do, but doing so is made somewhat easier by focusing strongly on INT.  Gaining that small amount of extra healing was maximizing your mana regen really makes life easier.  I often hear from healadins that they never have mana problems, that they never have to gem for INT because they find they have more mana then they know what to do with, that they only ever have to use Divine Plea during “oshi-” situations.  To those people, I can only say “heal harder content” or “drop a healer.”  If you have that much mana, you’re doing something just at wrong as someone who doesn’t have enough.

In the future, I can see Blizzard taking the nerf bat to INT again.  Until that point, it is the opinion of this poster that it’s the strongest stat for healadins out there.  I’m proud of my yellow gems; nothing else comes close to topping them.


One comment

  1. […] that are about you be brought to you. All the credit goes to Codi at MoarHPS! And their post Intellect– why it’s that good for Healadins. Their post was created for geming, so the numbers won’t be the same, but as a general idea of […]

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