Thursday, December 23, 2010

Protection Paladin Rotation: Max Threat Verse Survivability

Hey Gang!

So, it's been some time now since 4.0.1 dropped and our new spells, Holy Power, etc. had thrown our original rotations into a Cement Mixer. For many of us, it felt very foreign to us because many of the things that we took as "sacred" are no more.

After hitting 85, training all of my new spells, I was anxious to see how all of these new spells fit together. We gained Inquisition at level 81. Which at first seems pretty much only useful for our Retribution pals. It's a DPS increase when you use Holy power and scales with how many stacks we had while using it. If you use it with all three stacks of Holy Power, Inquisition lasts for 12 seconds.

My first reaction was why do I want to waste my precious Holy Power on a Damage increase? I have two extremely powerful spells that I can choose to use instead. Shield of the Righteous that does huge amounts of single target threat (currently critting for almost 20k with three stacks) and putting up Holy Shield that increases the amount of damage I mitigate by 10% and Word of Glory that gives me a very free self healing. Why do I, as a tank, give two Kodo Poops about Inquisition? Well, after further reading over at my favorite Forums, I saw theorycrafters proposing that if you use Inquisition with 3 stacks of Holy power, it will last you 12 seconds. Our rotation, from start to finish, is only 9 seconds.

This got my brain rolling...

Well, if I could have Inquisition on for the duration of my rotation in all the while working my Holy Power back up, it will last me until I get back to hitting SotR again. My brain just exploded at the thought of all that delicious threat that I would be creating. Om nom nom!

But here's the beauty of this whole entire thing. Holy power takes 9 seconds to rack up to 3. Most fights don't last very long. 18 Seconds is like an eternity when it comes to mob & boss fights. Having to wait 18 seconds to have your Holy Shield up feels like having unprotected sex with strangers and then deciding mid way that you probably shouldn't be doing what you're doing...


So brain, how do we get to play with our "Holy Shit Threat Happy Fun Time" without feeling "unprotected" for 18 seconds?

The answer is Divine Plea! When you hit Divine Plea (if Talented... which you better have it talented or I'll be sad!) It gives you an automatic 3 stacks of Holy Power right away before ever having to do anything! Hurray!

What I found to be the best single target threat rotation to be:
(Glyphed: Focused Shield) Avengers Shield-Divine Plea-Inquisition-Crusader Strike-Judgement-Crusader Strike- AS/ (Holy Wrath if AS didn't proc or off Cooldown)- Crusader Strike- Shield of the Righteous (repeat until dead... not you! The Boss!)

With this rotation you are getting the full effect of Inquisition through your entire rotation and not having to wait the entire 18 seconds to get your Holy Shield up. Best of both worlds. With this kind of threat start, it would be extremely hard for anyone to pull it off of you. This is the Ultimate front loaded threat move. Hell throw in your Wings and you have become a monster! Even your trigger happy mage would be hard pressed to pry that Internet Dragon off of you. With this kind of a lead on your threat, letting Vengence kick in will only make the ride that much easier.

Now, if you are more interested in AoE instead of Single target. It's pretty easy to make a few minor changes. Unglyph your Avenger's Shield so you are hitting 3 targets instead of 1. Replace Crusader Strike with Hammer of the Righteous and use Holy Wrath & Consecrate in your "off times".  If mobs aren't hitting too hard, you could even change your Aura to Retribution (if you don't already have a Ret Pally with you).

If Survivability is what really butters your bread, then I suggest a different strategy. I would focus more on keeping up your Holy Shield up for that additional mitigation and spot healing with Word of Glory. Again, I would pop Divine Plea before the pull, Shoot the mob/boss, use Shield of the Righteous and go to town gaining back your Holy Power Stacks. Once to three, pop Word of Glory. This is really nice even if you are topped off because (again if you specced into it) will create a bubble with the over heals. Rotate Shield of the Righteous with Word of Glory and you should be golden. Healers will cheer & babes will weep at how awesome you are at Surviving the most brutal content that Cataclysm could throw at you.

Now get out there & make your healers proud!

/slaps you on the ass for good luck!

<3 Your Friendly Neightborhood Fuubaar


  1. Wow! Great post. Gonna have to rework my pally tanking rotation.
    I typically use Divine Plea as an 'Oh crap' button but it looks more like it should be a 'Use on cooldown' sort of thing.

    What about DivPlea > Inquisition > AvShield to pull so AvShield gets the Inquisition buff.

  2. The reason why I dont typically hit Divine Plea & Inq before the pull is because Inq only lasts 12 seconds meaning that you only have 3 seconds of lee way before it drops off at the end of your rotation. If you do that before you pull, You are wasting the GCD for Avenger's Shield & mob/ boss travel time to you once you do in fact pull. I would hate for that to last longer than 3 seconds because then Inq would drop before you hit SotR which is where it really shines.

    I guess you could Macro it all and then run into the mob/boss like a crazy person but there again, you might be cutting it short.

    I'll have to test this and see if I could do it before & still have the buff remain when I've arrived to 3 stacks of Holy Power & SotR.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    <3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar