Flash of Light spec – Why I don’t talk about it


There are been some interesting reads out there in regards to going down the “Flash of Light spec” road.  I’ve even gotten emails about it, asking for help and advice on gear/gemming/speccing for it.  Yet, I’ve never actually sat down and discussed it.  I’ve considered it, certainly, especially in that vein of “FoL vs. HL,” but I never have.  Unless something major changes for the expansion, I doubt I really ever will beyond this post.

I do not like Flash of Light speccs.  Here is why:

1)  It trades HPS for HPM.  At ICC gear levels, a healadin’s HLs should be coming in at ~1.25 sec cast times, not much below the 1 sec cap on FoL.  (The cap is from the GCD being capped at 1 second.  Even if your FoLs took only .5 sec to cast, you’d still have to wait for the GCD before casting again.)  Those HLs should also be critting quite a bit and the splash from the glyph would be quite substantial.  Even gearing almost fully for throughput, a healadin who is using their abilities correctly shouldn’t be having mana issues, so trading down for more HPM isn’t worth it.

2)  There is no way I could keep the tanks up with that on some fights.  Heck, there are times when I can’t keep the tanks up when I’m bombing HLs like a mad thing.  It’s been mentioned that it spreads the responsibility for the tanks’ lives out so that the other healers have to keep an eye on them, too, but my raid healers have enough on their plates without them having to compensate for me.

3)  It promotes using only one spell, which is -boring.-  I remember TBC healing and it’s steady stream of FoL on the tanks.  I used to get rip-roaring drunk during raids, just because there was so little thought going on for me!  Now I have to think about my mana and switch spell casting gears to reduce overheal.  HL builds -do- use FoL, quite often in some cases, they just don’t rely on it.

4)  It really is REALLY boring.

There you have it!  I didn’t go into much detail (I can if you want me to, but meh.), but that’s my reasoning for not liking FoL specs.

Editted the next day:  Oh hey, I forgot one of my points!  Point #5 is that gear scaling for FoL spec is really bad.  Once you reach that 676 haste cap, which is incredibly easy at the current gear level, the only stats that you want are spellpower and crit.  That means that you fall into that problem Disc priests have, with boring wasted stats.  Both haste and MP5 are usually avoided even for FoL users.  Tree druids have that issue currently with stats, too.  HL specced paladins don’t, since haste is always useful, as are crit and MP5 if you maintain a healthy ratio.



  1. Just one slight comment. Only one spell? What happened to Holy Shock? I personally find the FoL build appealing, but I haven’t played too many end game raids yet (ICC pretty much stops for me right after Saurfang). Oh, and another thing. Even if I do use FoL a lot, I do use HL when need be. No holy pally build is limited to using only one spell. Just as you use FoL when it’s appropriate, I use HL when appropriate. I just fail to see why it’s boring to cast FoL all the time instead of casting HL all the time. It’s essentially the same thing, no? If not, please elaborate 🙂

    • Holy Shock is regulated to being an “crap, I’m moving and someone’s gonna die” spell for all specs, since the HPM and HPS on it is so low. It’s like Swiftmend when you’re talking about druid builds; it is similar to a cooldown that both specs use, not something to rely on.

      FoL users do toss one a HL here or there, but they don’t have the regen to use more than a handful, especially as using Divine Plea is a total no-no when you’re relying on small, fast heals. To compare, during BQL I get into a rhythm of consistently mixing FoLs with HLs through the entire fight. At the end of the night, I typically have used a 2/1 ratio on HLs to FoLs. That’s a lot of variation. There’s no way I would have anywhere close to that sort of mix if I were FoL spec.

      …oh hey, I forgot one of my points in my post, though! Time to edit that in.

      • I tend to disagree on one point there. Using Divine Plea is perfectly acceptable during fights, you can just switch to HL during that time and still have more mana left than before. Together with the 2 piece set bonus on T10 and Divine Illumination, there’s essentially no problem at all when using Divine Plea.

        Besides, I don’t feel like I really need to cast HL all that often. It’s nice that it’s big and all, but I prefer keeping people up high in their HP instead of having to heal them back up from halfway down. Of course there are situations where it just isn’t possible to keep someone up with FoL, but with the amount of healing HS / FoL does for me, I rarely *need* to use HL.
        But as I said, I haven’t really progressed any further than Saurfang, so I’ll see if I can keep it up. However, I am convinced that if other people can, I can do it too.

  2. Personally as a FoL healadin myself, I love the synergy between Holy Shock and FoL. And the flexibility to choose between all three spells actually benefits to the management of mana. Holy light doesn’t really use a lot of mana, and popping skills to use more is another option too.
    I’ve downed Arthas on 10 man and is doing quite well on Hard mode, never below 2 on healing meters and never ooming. It works for me and I love it.

    • I can see it being alright for 10-mans, since the damage done to the tanks is so much lower, but I don’t really care about 10s much. 🙂 Snobbish of me, I suppose, but true.

      • I do mostly 10m, but even on 25m, I can still keep my assignments up and help out with raid healing while being 2-3 in healing meters on bosses (without Judgement of Light). I am FoL spec’d and do have enough mana to use HL when needed.

        Divine Plea has to be used carefully, of course, but it is far from being a ‘total no-no’.

        No offense, but it seems like you are writing something off out of hand just because it doesn’t work for your playstyle/team.

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