Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Protection Paladin: 4.0.1 Spec & Glyphs

Hey Gang!

So, the madness has finally arrived and once again Paladins have been thrown into a blender full of Hopes, Dreams and a dash of Fail. If you've been a paladin for more than just Wrath of the Lich King, what the Developers have done to us shouldn't surprise you in the least. Many of us logged on last night (8pm EST for us) when the servers came up to find all of our addons broken and the ground shaking (literally). I had huge notifications YOU ARE UNTALENTED! Well thanks Blizzard, let the whole world know that I suck... *mumbles* bastards *grumbles* jerkfaces....


I wanted to hit on a few major changes that Protection Paladins will experience for the first time logging into 4.0.1:WARNING: This is not at all an exhaustive list nor should everything that I put here be taken as "The Word" When I do some real raiding and get my grubby little hands on this stuff, I'll post about my findings.
  • We get a new resource called Holy Power (or as many people will probably refer to it as Holy Powah! and then proceed to do a ninja kick in the air HI YA!) This is acquired by using various spells (Mainly Crusader Strike) and using them choosing which ways you want to spend these Holy Powahs! You can have a total of Three at one time. From my poking around last night, it seems that if you want threat, you use it on your Shield of The Righteous. I'm in mostly ICC 10-man gear with Tier 10 stuffs and when I was getting three stacks of Holy Power, my Shield of the Righteous was hitting for around 9k. T'was yummy :-) You can also spend it on more survivability using Word of Glory which is a 0 mana costing heal that its potency scales with the stacks of Holy Power. Overall, it should add quite a bit of spice to our once extremely predictable rotation. R.I.P. 969 LONG LIVE 939?
  • Holy Shield is no longer part of our rotation. It is now a passive ability that procs off of our other abilities. It also has sluffed off the 8 charges that it used to for a straight % to block for the time that it's up. I'm going to guess it's unlimited blocking for that period of time?
  • Consecrate is an extremely mana expensive spell that we can't just use frivolously anymore. The cooldown is longer than it's on the ground so this means, that if you want to use it, use it wisely.
  • Avenger's Shield is now a High TPS ability. It still silences targets & still looks like Capt. America. The neat thing about this is that you can proc a free one every so often within your rotation. I believe that it's a chance off of a Talent Called Grand Crusader. Blizzard implemented a "Power Aura" like feature into the game. When you get your Avenger Shield Proc, it lights up like Christmas and Santa is yelling at you to MASH YOUR KEYS NAO! Best way to describe it is James Woods from Family Guy, "Oh! Piece of Candy! Oh, Piece of Candy! Oh! Piece of Candy!" I love it! Prot Pallies have never been a spec that worked around Procs. Really awesome stuff :-) I just hope that procs are for fun and are treated as a bonus not as a certainty or a requirement to live/ keep aggro on the Boss.  
  • Forbearance... I'm not even going to talk about this right now... It gives me a head ache. Something to think about though: some things that used to give Forbearance don't give it anymore, others are well... yeah. I'll make a post about this when I get all of the facts. *eyes twitch*
  • Sanctuary is now a Talent that gets us Crit Immune since we no longer have Defense as a Stat. Similar to Bear Druids. NO MORE DEFENSE! *Confetti*
There is so much to talk about but I really want to get into my spec that I chose for the moment.  I'm still working on the Lich King with my guild so I needed a practical spec for raiding. This is what I've come up with. I created this from  PS: The "Use it ingame!" feature is pretty snazzy. I believe that it does a /run command and throws it at your toon's talent tree like a pie with out the whole messiness... and pie part. Damn it! I want Pie now!

This spec offers every TPS/DPS increase that I could get for level 80 plus some really nice survivability. A few key things about it: I've always felt that Divinity was pretty expensive (talent wise) for the lack of usefulness that you get out of it for Protection Paladins. Yeah, more healing on you is nice I guess but 3 Talents for 5%? Lame-o in my opinion. I'm going to see how often the Holy Power Proc off the other one works. If it seems to be pretty unnoticeable, I might switch my points over to Divinity but I wont be happy about it  /angry face. Other than Hammer of Justice (which, the more I'm thinking about it, I might go back and spec into it so that I can take care of the Val'kyr's), I took the remaining Talents in Prot. They all seem extremely useful and I'm extremely excited about that. What I'm really liking about our tree is that it actually does offer some bits of flavor. You can invest one talent point here to dig deeper there sorta thing.  
The Glyphs I chose are specifically for the LichVal'kyr duty after the Lich King is safely dropped off at the pool (aka our Druid picks his ass up). I need to Daze them giving our DPS more time to burn them down. Hammer & Shield of the Righteous are mainly just straight 10% Damage increase so why not. Seal of Truth is for our Expertise Cap. I've also found that as long as you're under the Hard Expertise cap (52 Expertise I believe), this is actually a pretty decent threat increase. The Minor Glyphs are pretty much SAVE 50% on your favorite Spells! Redeem this coupon every time you cast them. See your Local Paladin Trainer for Details. Other rules my apply. Prices on glyphs my vary from server to server. If you are unhappy with the minor glyph options, that sucks because you can't get anything else...

In conclusion, everything that I've just told you is subject to change at any time and as I'm writing this right now, I'm finding stuff that I didn't know before. I will continue to do research and find the most optimal spec for me and what I'm currently working on. Once we get the LK down, I'll be switching my gears towards a leveling spec and 5-mans. If you have comments, suggestions, flames, or anything that's on your mind about Prot Pallies, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! ALL CAPS CAUSE I'M FOR SERIOUS! I love to know what you have experienced thus far in game, Beta, or PTR. All of it! My brain feeds off of this stuff! You don't want my brain to shrivel & die do you? *Focuses pure guilt into your hearts!*

For further information and much more in-depth Theorycrafting, please head over to my favorite resource site: Maintankadin. This link is the one that the main theorycrafter, Theck, is creating just for 4.0 purposes. It's ultra mega nerdy and it's just the way I like it! <3 Theck!

<3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar


  1. Just specced my prot pally. Haven't had much time to work with it, (mostly cause i had no idea wat to do at first, LOL) but this was helpful. Of coarse as soon as we all figure out how to play our prot pallys, they will come out with patch 4.02 and screw it all up again lol

  2. @ Anon

    Yeah, once I start raiding again, I'll actually get a feel for what I'm missing out on and what needs to be tweeked.

    I dont even want to think about the ability to respec your gear too o.0

    *brain explodes!*

  3. Been looking at my pally and looks like with the change to hammer of righteous this is now an aoe tanking move which gets swapped out for crusader strike wen holding onto aggro on a single target (a boss). these two moves share a cd so you cant spam both. wat does everyone else think?

  4. I am not sure if others noticed but on target dummies my hammer of rightous hit harder pretty much all the time than my crusdaer strike. I beleive this means they just replace crusader strike all the time.

  5. It looks like cloth/leather/mail got a huge buff for pvp since the armor stats are closer together now, also the changes to resilience ..... woo

  6. ive actually been noticing that alot of stam has been alotted to everything meaning i think what blizz did was revert back to the naxx days where you had to gem for mitigation rather than stam stacking now-a-days so i actually went for my socket bonuses and dodge and parry gems, because after doing a voa with a couple of competant healers i was getting hit way to hard and way to often.....and why drop the dodge debuff in icc if it isnt needed "hint"hint"

  7. i'm having a major problem keeping aggro, anyone got any ideas?

  8. On the target dummy (single target), I was doing more damage (total and dps) using crusader strike in my rotation vs. hammer of righteous. I attacked the target dummy 10 times using crusader strike and 10 times using hammer of righteous.

  9. ok:

    @ Anon #1 Yes, HotR (Hammer of the Righteous) and CS (Crusader Strike) both share the same cooldown. CS is meant for Single Target Tanking while HoTR is meant for AoE tanking purposes. Now, I'm not sure about the DPS/ TPS different if you were to use HotR on a single target. I'm going to assume that CS is more powerful for single target with a proper spec. I will investigate further on this issue.

    @ Jason Yes, I heard that they wanted to Narrow the armor gap for all armor classes. They are also boosting Repair costs so that everyone is equal to Plate. Poor clothies get to feel what the tanks feel after a long night of raiding :P Also, I heard from GhostCrawler that they buffed Resillience up for the moment because they tweeked the stats for DPS but they haven't really tweeked the health pools yet. Mainly everyone was getting murdered... hence the Resillience buff :)

    @ Anon #3 Yes, I believe that that was the intention from Blizzards end. They wanted us to go back to stacking Mitigation/Avoidance/TPS stats rather than straight +Stam since it will be found in Truck loads on our gear. I've always enjoyed a well balanced stat gemming rather than loading up on one or two stats. I like to be well rounded :)

    @ Anon #5 I've been reading that many of the tanking classes are really having a hard time with Threat right now. I mean obviously check and make sure that you're using Righteous Fury but it might not be the real issue. I've been reading a lot of theory crafting on what stats to look for, gem for, and Reforge for. Short answer is Gem for Expertise (goal is 26-55), Hit cap 8%, then STR. Expertise is a HUGE Threat boost. I would definately play around with it. Once I find out further information about this & play around with it myself, I'll make a post about threat stats.

    Remember though, AoE tanking is much more difficult now and it's not what it used to be. If you believe that you can do the exact same stuff as we could before, you are in for a rude awakening.

    So are the dead DPS...

    I'm loving the questions! Keep em comin!

    <3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

  10. @ Anon that just posted above me.

    Can you send me your Talent set up & your glyphs? I'm going to assume that Blizzard wanted us to use CS for single target mobs & HotR for AoE purposes. Now, if you say that HoTR is better for both, then perhaps either, blizzard screwed up & still needs to tweek the damage or something is incorrect.

    Greatly apprecite your help!

  11. OK!

    I ran a few Target Dummy Tests last night on the Single Target Difference of Crusader Strike Verse Hammer of the Righteous.

    My findings are that Crusader Strike does, indeed do, more DPS/ TPS than HotR by about 700+ DPS on average.

    So in conclusion, you should use CS for single Target mobs/ bosses and HotR for multitarget tanking.

    The end :D

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  14. kappy from khadgarOctober 17, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    hey all i ran into some usefull info to help with threat i am now hard capped expertise (55) and hit capped (8%) and zomg i can hold off the dps after i gain initial agro with just white hits. i gave up a bit of dodge now that icc no longer has the debuff and im already 10.5+geared so i still roll in to icc with 75K+ health just somthing i found and think i like alot.

  15. Iv been doing alot of mind numbing head banging testing and i think there is something that is important here that hasnt been said.. at least i havent seen it :P

    Holy Wrath. No longer just damages Undead and demons it only STUNS them. Glyphed in cata is gunna be huge (i know i gots me a beta key), almost all the instances (tho i havent had a chance to raid yet) are mostly Dragonkin humanoids and elementals.

    Im not saying its going to be a be all end all for aoe tanking.. but it sure will help.

  16. Just for the record: removed a couple links above from an Anon comment. I don't mind links, but I'd like to keep them on topics (those seemed to be to mage specs). If I got it wrong for some reason, feel free to shoot me an email and I can fix it.


  17. What do you think of gearing for 102.4 avoidance/mitigation (very possible with reforging) and removing the need for Holy Shield completely to allow us to focus on repeated use of Word of Glory instead?

    Perhaps we would use Holy Shield to replace Parry for Boss fights


  18. @ Kappy Yes, I heard that Hard Capping Expertise & getting 8% melee hit cap are the two best ways to boost your threat. With the Glyph of Truth, it seems pretty easy to get above the Expertise Min. I'm sitting around 36 Expertise with 7.99% Hit. Good stuff :)

    @ Tradias of ShC Oh YEAH! I've been using it when I have more than two targets at a time. It's been really nice to have that AoE option. I use it in my rotations when I have gaps or I need some AoE on a new group of Adds if my Consecrate is on CD. I am going to miss the Undead expansion though :)

    @Nixtdorf Yes, 102.4 is definately possible and is even easier to do it now with Reforging! That is a HUGE step for every tank to shoot for 102.4 Avoidance (aka this is the combined total of all avoidance/ mintigative stats that push Regular Hits off of the table). With that being said, even if you were to get 102.4 without Holy Shield being active, by using your Holy Power for Word of Glory only, you would be missing out on some MAJOR Single target threat since you wont be using your Shield of the Righteous. Now, I did spec into the talent that allows for you to use Word of Glory as an overheal bubble for Survivability purposes but for most other occasions, I would be using Shield of the Righteous for all other encounters.

    <3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

  19. Ignore the last sentence (also know as the stupid part I wrote) re: Choosing block over Parry. That's just dumb.

  20. Once we get Inquisition at level 81 threat shouldn't be an issue.

    Word of Glory is like a Battlemasters trinket with a 13 second cooldown.

    We babe never been so big on DPS and always been awesome on survivability. I think we have options now.

  21. Thanks so much! I was going to abandon Pally tanking altogether because I couldn't keep aggro! Your tips helped SO much.

  22. Hi Guys

    Just ran a few Heroics only using Word of Glory.

    I was my old self and health/damage mitigation was strong like it use to be.

  23. Also, I made sure I used the Dazed Glyph for Avengers Shield and also casted it at every proc as well as Holy Wrath and selective use of Consecration. No real aggro issue.

    I'm not sure if I should be switching seals out for mobs and bosses. I have been lazy and stick with Truth.

  24. @ Nixtdorf

    So you scrapped using Shield of the Righteous all together? What was your healer doing? AFKing? hehehe

    Dazing Shield is nice For the Lich King Fight for Val'kyrs and slowing them down. For all other fights, it's probably up to personal Preference. I've been using The Divine Protection Glyph instead since I hear that it's bugged & gives you both Physical & magical protection. I'll be using this until I hear they fixed it :)

    In regards to which seal to use for Mobs & bosses, I would stick with Truth. Not only does this give you the Additional Expertise for higher threat, but it runs you around 700DPS flat. Overall, I believe that this to be the superior Seal for tanks. I would only switch seals if I don't have a healer and Word Of Glory isn't cutting the Mustard.

    Keep the comments coming!

    I'm going to gut this post & make a full on Spec, glyph, stats post here soon enough :)

    <3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

  25. I use Shield of the Righteous 1 out of 3 procs and Word of Glory 2 out of 3 procs.

    I would love the extra DPS but I was still mid-table on recount.

    I ran ICC 10 Man normal last night and this got me through trash (no Rogue so this includes the 4 Bone giants) and Marrowgar without issue.

  26. I just logged in for the first time in about 4 months to find out that everything has changed. What a shock.

    Something you might want to experiment with... double T10 bonuses. You can wear the T10 Prot head + shoulders, cataclysmic chestguard, and the T10 Ret legs + gloves. The Ret gear has lots of Expertise and Hit, and you can reforge the critical strike rating into avoidance or mastery. With two Ret pieces, you get a 5% increase in all damage done.

    I tried it out in a few Heroics and it seemed to work well. I don't know how viable it would be for raiding, however. I know that when I was doing ICC10 pre-patch, I used to swap in a few ret pieces for extra DPS and it didn't seem to hurt me.

  27. @ Tankadin

    I actually picked up an ICC 10-man Necklace that had a large quantity of Expertise on it. It was an upgrade in Stamina & Strenth with a red socket to boot. I believe that if you do pick up DPS pieces and intend on wearing them for raiding, I would agree that gemming, enchanting, and reforging them as tanking could do the trick if it's an upgrade from your original tanking piece.

    I never thought to pick up 2 T10 bonuses from the Ret set. I mean, if you're really looking to boost your TPS, that's probably one of the best ways to do it.

    Great comment!

    <3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

  28. Well Reforging is fun. As are the removals of Arena Ratings for most Wrathful gear. I'm running into ICC now with a Wrathful Mace and. Wrathful (Casters) Shield reforged! Amazing. Way up on DPS!

    Don't tell my guild.

  29. just a question i havent played wow for the last few months so i'm basically in the dark about whats goin on with 4.01. But ive heard people say that hammer of the righteous and avengers shield are gone. like completely. anyone?

  30. @ Anon

    Hammer of the Righeous and Avenger's Shield are still here & still very much useful!

    If you've had the chance to poke around yet in game, you'll notice that Hammer of the Righteous shares a cooldown with Crusader Strike (which we blantently stole from Rets... it's ok, they have other toys to play with). Crusader Strike is now our Single target threat and Hammer of the Righteous is our AoE (aka 3 targets) threat.

    Avenger's Shield has become even more useful than it used to be as is a great high threat move. You can spec into a talent that gives you a random Avenger's Shield proc that takes this ability off cooldown. You can still glyph to make this ability a single target ability that does even more damage/threat.

    TL;DR These abilities are still there. They still work pretty much the same as they did before 4.0.1 but I highly suggest going in the game and playing with it yourself to fully understand.

    Let me know if you have further questions regarding this matter!

    <3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

  31. I ran a few dummy target rans to see the difference between HOR and CS. From my findings it looks like HOR is a Hit or miss abitly while CS is able to Hit, parry, or dodge. So when targeting the raid dummy (skull) I had a 32% miss(miss, parry, dodge) rate with CS(that is with 8%hit 26 exp) and a 22% chance with HOR so in the end my dps was better using HOR; however i do agree if CS was at a lower miss % like HOR was then CS would out dps HOR. My clusion: if you are not exp capped (55) HOR is your better dps.
    Anyone else have the same results?

  32. @Anon

    I actually read that the target dummies in game are glitched and even if you are capped hit & expertise, it is still registering missing for some unknown reason.

    Here is the article that I found regarding this matter:

    <3 Fuubaar