So last week I mentioned that I had tried going as a Sheathadin for a certain General in Ulduar. I'd used this spec for a while before 3.1 when dual specs weren't an option, since I could heal any heroic and could hold my own in Naxx.
What it's not
First, I didn't dream this baby up. Hell, it wasn't even my idea. I found it while stumbling around the Plus Heal forums and thought I'd give it a try.
It's not a "AMG RET DPS" spec, but at least you shouldn't embarass yourself. I may, or may not, have finished below the tank once. Don't judge me.
This is not an Ulduar main spec - at least not yet in our guild. It's fun and fresh, but your spot is in the rear with the gear buddy. Holy Light bombs are the order of the day.
This is not your daddy's holy spec.
What it is
It lets you farm easily, do respectable DPS in a dungeon/raid, and it's pretty funny when you Divine Storm someone in the face while you're packing a shield.
You can realistically heal heroics, or be a second/fourth Naxx healer.
It's also slow, and (even more so than normal paladin healing) dependant on crits.
How it works
Basically a Sheathadin spec is a Ret pally in healing gear. You lose pretty much every Holy talent, as your spec is 15/5/51. If you're using this spec for pure healing output you can go 28/0/43 or 23/5/43. There's lots of options, more depending on your playstle and gear.
What you are shooting for at a minimum is a high Crit chance for your heals and your judgements. Procing Sheath of Light for the HoT and Art of War for the instant FoL give you flexibility to heal the rest of a party/raid. Pre 3.1 having multiple Sacred Shields out helped as well, but that option is gone now.
For this build you also want a high AP, which is why you bless yourself with Might instead of Wisdom. If you can get Kings, so much the better. You'll be standing right in there with the melee, giving them your ret aura buff, and judging light every eight seconds. I've found it nearly impossible to run out of mana with this build, even if you rock Holy Light bombs every 2.5 seconds.
This build is kind of gimmicky, though it is fun to play with. With dual specs though, I can keep one full Holy and leave the other as ret, so I don't play with this too much any more. Tomorrow I'll look at the 28/43 build Apokteino mentioned in the comments last week.