Hybrid it up on General Vezax

Hybrid it up on General Vezax


This is a guest post by Paladin blogger Honorshammer of Honor’s Code.

General Vezax is the the last boss you must down before you cross swords with Yogg-Saron himself.

The General is one of most challenging fights in all of Ulduar due to his Aura of Despair. What is it that this lovely gift from the Developers does?

From WoWWiki (http://www.wowwiki.com/General_Vezax) we find:

Aura of Despair – Prevents mana regeneration throughout the fight by all means, except for Judgments of the Wise, Spiritual Attunement, Aspect of the Viper, Thrill of the Hunt, and Shamanistic Rage. Note that unlike the Play Test Realm version of this encounter Mana Potions and active abilities such as Evocation and Life Tap will not function.

My guild recently downed General Vezax. I was Retribution for the fight, but when one of our healers went down; I jumped in and started throwing some heals on the tank. That’s when I discovered the power of Judgments of the Wise for this fight. By Judging and stopcasting I was able to take over the 3rd healer role and concentrate on helping to keep our Main Tank alive, and do it on a Ret Paladin’s mana pool.

What exactly does Judgement of the Wise do?

Judgements of the Wise Rank 3 – Your Judgement spells have a 100% chance to grant the Replenishment effect to up to 10 party or raid members mana regeneration equal to 0.25% of their maximum mana per second for 15 sec, and to immediately grant you 25% of your base mana. (Source)

The replenishment aspect is useless. After reviewing the WoW Web Stats, I can see that I never gained Replenishment. However I did gain over 100,000 mana from Judgments of the wise! Because it works off base mana, it would restore the same amount regardless of the current mana pool of the Paladin.

We know that for a Level 80 Paladin, Holy Light cost 1,274 mana. So with a little napkin math, we can conclude that I regenerated enough mana from Judgments of the Wise to cast over 70 Holy Lights. That’s without the use of any Saronite Vapors at all.

How practical would it be it for a Holy Paladin to get Judgement of the Wise? Let’s look at a talents build that allows a Holy Paladin to get Judgement of the Wise, and the tradeoffs it makes to get there.

The most popular Holy Paladin build according to TalentChic is 51/5/15. Let’s look at what is needed to turn that into our hybrid build.

First off, the 5 points in Divinity have to go. Divinity is a really strong Tier 1 talent, but we simply won’t have room for it in our build. It doesn’t matter how hard the heal hits if you don’t have the mana to cast it.

Those 5 points move into Sanctity of Battle and Pursuit of Justice. Sanctity gives you even more crit for your Holy spells which should offset some of the loss of Divinity. There is a ton of movement on General Vezax so Pursuit of Justice is really nice as you move away from a Shadow Crash or into a Saronite Vapor.

Then we take the points out of Beacon of Light. This is one tank fight. Let the other healers handle the Raid; you can stay on the Tank so Beacon is a minor loss. You are going to lose the Haste from Judgments of the Pure and Infusion of Light. You will also have to heal from melee range because you won’t have the range increase from Enlightened Judgments. We had our Resto Druid healing from near melee range, so we could just have just as easily had a Holy Paladin there.

You won’t have the mana reduction from Divine Illumination. Based on General Vexax’s enrage timer, you would only be able to fire Divine Illumination more than 3 times during the fight. Are those 45 seconds of reduced cost worth the mana you can get back from Judgments of the Wise?

Assuming a little haste from gear, we’ll call Holy Light a 2 second cast. In those 45 seconds, we can get off 22.5 Holy Lights. To give every advantage to Divine Illumination, we’ll call it 23.

Holy Light costs 1271 so half it’s cost is 635. So we’ve saved 635 mana times 23 casts or about 15,000 mana. It’s about 10% of what Judgments of the Wise gives you. So Divine Illumination is gone as well. Bu-bye!

Our final move is to take 2 points out of Holy Guildance which will result in about a 4% loss of spell power from Intellect. The rest of the Holy Paladin build is pretty much intact.

With these points freed up, we continue to ascend the Ret Tree. The next point taken in Ret is Sanctified Retribution. This will increase all damage done by everyone near us, even if we are running Concentration Aura.

We want to pick up Improved Judgments so we can judge as often as possible, and trigger Judgments of the Wise as often as possible. Now we need two ‘filler’ points to move into the next Tier. There aren’t any great places to put them. I chose to put them in Crusade to increase the damage of Judgment by 3%. This build relies on judging often, so you might as well have them hit a little harder.

On the next tier, we grab Divine Purpose. The 4% spell miss will act as increased resistance to Shadow Crash and Searing Flames should one get through your interrupters.

Here again we find ourselves two points short of the next tier and not really any good place to spend them. I opted for Vengeance. Maybe you could get a stack going and hit those Judgments a little harder. It’s a filler choice so anywhere you want to throw two points will probably work.

Finally, we open Judgments of the Wise.

Here’s the final 38/0/33 build in the WoWhead tool.

General Vezax is a challenging fight. Specing for a specific fight is something that used to be fairly common in late Tier 6 and Sunwell. We didn’t need it for Tier 7 raids, but as we near the end of Tier 8, it may be something to consider again.


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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. I thought I read that the aura reduces the amount of healing for people with Judgement of the Wise? How much is that reduction? Given that, it seems like this kind of build is going to increase longevity at the cost of throughput.

  2. It’s a quirky idea but I like it.

    I’d probably move Improved Wisdom points into something else since it’s completely useless for this fight.

    Hearing that 51/5/15 is the most popular talent build just makes me want to cry.

    I’m going to try your idea this week and see if it works for me.

  3. Paladins talented into JOTW recieve the following debuff during the Vezax fight:


    It renders any sort of ret-healing build useless for anything other than emergency oh-shit healing, by reducing the effectiveness of all non Judgement of Light Healing by 75%.

    (Judgement of Light from a geared ret paladin is however stupidly powerful, it’s like having an extra lifebloom on your tank)

  4. Pretty sure the aura prevents ret from healing at all…

  5. Author needs to post his WWS for the fight or this whole post is worthless.

    Please =)

  6. This really, really doesnt work.

  7. I posted about this on my blog as one of my first entries – http://paladindivineplea.blogspot.com/2009/05/healing-general-vezax.html – and it’s a gimmicky and fairly useless build. Yes, we got him down, but my other healers essentially carried me the whole raid.

    This build allows you to essentially spam HL for whopping 3-4k crits, and by not speccing all the way down into Sheath of Light and Art of War, you’re missing out on the HoT portion of the build. I cover the full Sheathadin build here http://paladindivineplea.blogspot.com/2009/05/sheathadin.html if you’re interested in seeing how it works.

    For a WWS of this build in action on Vezak though, you can look here http://wowwebstats.com/m3y3mpi4m55ec?s=379486-409176 – on that takedown I essentially did nothing but spam 1k FoLs until he got all big and angry, then went to 3k HL. I was at most, a minor cushion for the other healers – though I was able to heal raid members who didn’t get out of shadow crashes or stood in Saronite too long.

    Adgamorixs last blog post..Sharing the buff love

  8. For another gimmicky build you could try something like 13/43/15 – basically take all the stam and crit talents you can, spec prot down to Touched by the Light, and then put on all your PvP gear (Deadly if you have it). *This build was donated by a commenter on my site, Apokteino, who actually suggested 28/43/0.

  9. cringer says:

    Soooo… broken post? A lot of people seem to think that this doesn’t work.

  10. jumpinjesus says:


  11. It’s not that it doesn’t work, it’s that it doesn’t work as billed. If you could stand there and bomb heals (that were full on heals) with this build, every paladin would spec this and guilds would bring nothing but paladins, completely eliminating the need for saronite gas.

    Putting one healer on this who can do nothing but ‘bomb’ heal the tank might be a cushion, and it ‘worked’ for us in 10 man, but 25 man hits just too hard.

    It might work to do this for someone who can top off the raid, but you want to limit your mobility in/out of melee. Moving out of melee gives you the chance to get the faceless debuff on you, and then you drag it into melee and wipe the raid.

    For our 25 we’re trying (first real 25 man attemtps on Sat) 3 healers staying out of the way, 2 on the tank, 1 hitting the raid that can’t move out of the way. Then 3 hit the gas, 3 that were doing nothing take thier spot, and the 7th heals the 3. Rotate through as needed. Work or no – I’ll post my thoughts on my site on Monday.

    Adgamorixs last blog post..Sharing the buff love

  12. Complete fail, Honor. JotW gives a debuff that reduces your healing by 80% or so.

    Just learn to heal properly. All raid damage is avoidable in this fight. Your main healers should be using efficient spells and techniques such as cast-cancelling. As well, reserving one or two healers to heal the last half of the fight helps.

    Now, of course, if you’re in Ret gear, you do what you have to do to keep people up. But a healadin should not use JotW at all.

  13. @ Rohan, the OP wasn’t referring to using this build for Normal Mode Gen V. He was discussing using it for the Hardmode which there’s is exactly Zero Mana return for healers. But as people pointed out http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=64646 prevents hybrids from healing. This post should be updated.

    Dankzs last blog post..25 Man Yogg-Saron

  14. Figworth says:

    Just a note – you probably didn’t get replenishment because it automatically goes to the ten players in your raid with the lowest mana.

  15. Just to note, you would only need 1 pt in JotW and not all 3. Just 1 point will give you the 25% mana return.

    Nice idea.

  16. I tried it tonight. This technique didn’t go well for me.

  17. Shallan says:

    If anyone has done this fight they would find out that General Vezax does Corrupted Wisdom, Your insight into Judgements of the Wise is intensified but corrupted by General Vezax’s Aura of Despair, hindering your ability to heal. that reduces healing by 90%, so really you may as well stand in a shadow crash to conserve mana it’ll do the same thing. So that spec actually won’t work, Sorry

  18. noobs

  19. I really considered this spec however I felt that if I can not manage my mana properly then I really should not be playing at this level.

    I simply went back to the days of AQ40 and Naxx40 where Overhealing was looked down upon. I used actual heal timing. I paid very close attention to the General’s attacks and gauged when they would land on our tank.

    Granted, I setup our heal teams in two teams (A Team and B Team) for mana regen cycles I found that a Hybrid spec was not necessary for General V. Well timed Holy Shocks+Infusion of Light Flashes and carefully placed Holy Lights proved to work very well for me. Not only was my HPS output fairly decent but I was at the very bottom of the overhealing meters 😉

    This will definitely not be the case for hard mode…

    Hope that helps.
    .-= Vapori´s last blog ..Trinket Macro =-.

  20. BTW, our heal makeup for General is as follows:

    2 Holy Paladins
    1 Resto Shaman
    1 Resto Druid
    1 Disc Priest
    1 Holy Priest

    I’d honestly love to take only 5 healers but our Ranged DPS do not like to show up to raids on nights that they aren’t guaranteed loot.
    .-= Vapori´s last blog ..Trinket Macro =-.

  21. Keep in mind that my paladin is an alt and doesn’t do a lot of raiding.

    I recently decided to go with a build similar to this one. I’ve only had a chance to test it out in heroics so far, but I have to say that so far its awesome. I’ll admit that I wasn’t aware of the Vezax weakness, and that until reading the above comments I was really looking forward to breezing through him.

    The downside is that you have to be within 10 yards to judge, and that frequent judging is integral to the spec. Bosses who have a lot of melee running out aoes will greatly hinder you. Basically running this spec takes you back to BC where holy palys were OP single target tank healers (no beacon of light). The BC raids I brought my paly to seldom had a ret paly crusader striking so I always used to heal from melee range where I could to keep my judgment up for the utility.

    Some stuff that wasn’t touched on in this thread. Seal of command is a must. Glyph of seal of command increases the effectiveness of this from 1098 mana per 8 seconds to 1450 mana per 8 seconds. Taking into account the cost of judging, this is 783 mp5 even if you’re naked (pre replenishment), making it a great spec for poorly geared players. The other 2 glyphs should probably be holy light and holy shock. You’ll have too much mana to ever flash of light (and won’t have the talent that makes it instant cast from shocking), so glyph of of flash of light is pretty useless. Since there’s no beacon, glyph of holy light while MT healing is some really nice melee healing (best I can figure out for now). It also greatly changes the priority of stats. Int and Mp5 are pretty weak stats since you’ll have so much mana from judging. Spell power is nice, but everyone knows that holy light is just overhealing anyway. I’m thinking crit and especially haste are the best.

    I estimate that with my gear, raid buffed, using 3 holy lights per judge, I wouldn’t run oom from just spamming in this fashion for over 4 minutes.


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  2. […] players are getting deeper and deeper into Ulduar with every passing day. Are you hybrids ready for General Vezax? Click here to submit a link to TDQ The Daily Quest: Insane in more ways than one originally […]

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