Okay, so in the last two posts we have discussed intellect and spell power as being the cornerstone of the holy Paladin, but what other statistics are important for us? Well, I have always ran with the belief that there are four pillars for a solid holy Paladin. The third stat that I feel is important is mana regenerated every five seconds while casting or MP5 as most of the WoW community will refer to it.
I will admit that there has not been much focus on this particular stat in the expansion. I have seen a large part of the holy Paladin community moving away from this stat in favor of other stats. I still feel that we must monitor our mana pool very closely. I will admit that when casting properly and using all of the new spells and abilities to the fullest, mana consumption seems to be much lower than it ever has been; however, how long will this be allowed to go on? The other thought I have is that when in long fights or those "oh shit!" moments, being able to continue healing is a must. If we abandon the MP5 in favor of stacking something else, we may find a wipe and some very upset friends.
When thinking about the application of MP5 for PVE, it is pretty self explanatory. The more mana regenerated the less down time you will have. It is that much better if it regenerates while you are in combat. If we break down PVE to three categories, I would say that MP5 is more important the smaller the group. For instance, if you are questing alone, the less time between your battles will allow the completion of your quests that much quicker, this will then increase the experience earned per hour moving you closer to your goal. In a group of five, the same principal holds true. The more mana you regenerate while in combat will mean less down time for a group. This can be helpful when running with a group that is less dependant on mana regeneration. In a raid group, you will have a particular job to perform and thus the raid leader should take into consideration the ability to regenerate mana and assign your healing assignment accordingly. As a holy Paladin, you will more often find yourself assigned to a single target heal such as a main tank or off tank. You may receive secondary assignments, but this will be dependant of the group, so your mana regeneration may or may not be an issue, but it never hurts to be able to pick up someone else's assignments should they fall or find theirself out of mana.
When we review the use of MP5 for PVP, then we would look at three distinct types of PVP. The first type would be world PVP, this is a pretty basic and random type of PVP, you may take on an oponent two levels lower or ten levels higher. The MP5 does not matter as much here, but can prove to be useful. When in a battleground, MP5 will be more useful in an organized battleground than in a mob that has no order. In either situation, the ability to maintain prolonged heals will be somewhat useful. The real test of your abilities as a holy Paladin for PVP will come in the form of arena, whether it is 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5. It will be important to be able to keep your mana levels up as some matches end in seconds while others run for an extended period of time. It is the longer matches that present the most challenge as this means you will more than likely mean you are both healing and using offensive abilities, which means that it will drain mana that much quicker.
When thinking about the prospect of gearing your holy Paladin, at lower levels you will still be looking for intellect and spell power first. The first chance you get to really be able to acquire all three of these items on one piece of gear will be in the BC content. I would recomend to acquire as much MP5 as possible through BC, as the majority of your healing will be focussed on casting Flash of Light, which will require a constant stream of mana. As you progress in Northrend, everything that you learned in BC will be changed and you will want to make sure to maintain a solid amount of MP5, but our fourth pillar for a holy Paladin will come into play.