** Base Spells **
- Blessing of Sanctuary: This blessing now also increases stamina by 10%. This effect is not cumulative with Blessing of Kings.
- Exorcism: Now has a 1.5 second cast time, but can once again be used on players.
- Hand of Reckoning: Redesigned. Now does damage only when target does not currently have the caster targeted, but damage done increased to 50% of attack power, occurring after the taunt effect is applied.
- Judgement of Light: Now heals for 2% of the attacker's maximum health instead of a variable amount based on the spell power and attack power of the judging paladin.
- [Improved?] Lay on Hands: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 10/20% instead of increasing the target's armor.
- Righteous Fury: No longer has a duration or mana cost, remaining until cancelled or death. Also cancelled when a Paladin activates a different talent specialization.
- Sacred Shield: When a paladin casts Flash of Light on a target with this buff, they also now place a heal over time effect on the target, healing that target for 100% of the Flash of Light amount over 12 seconds.
- Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption: These seals have been redesigned to deal substantially more damage. Now, once a paladin has 5 copies of the debuff from these seals on his or her target, on each swing the paladin will deal 33% weapon damage as Holy, with critical strikes dealing double damage.
- Shield of Righteousness: Now deals 100% of shield block value as damage instead of 130%.
** Talents **
* Protection *
- Ardent Defender: Redesigned. Currently, any damage taken by the paladin while at 35% health or below is reduced. Instead, any attack that would reduce the paladin to 35% health or below has its damage reduced. In addition, once every 2 minutes an attack that would have killed the paladin will fail to kill, and instead set the paladin's health to 10/20/30% of maximum.
My own commentary:
- The sanc change is nice, but the minor bit of dodge, threat, and block value will still make Kings necessary for a full min-max.
- The exorcism change, while negated by Art of War in ret, effectively removes exorcism from our skip-HS rotation, and even more importantly makes it useless as a cheap, short cooldown ranged pickup.
- Hand of Reck now does 1500 holy damage, which is nice for keeping a target stuck to you. An odd change, but hey.
- JOL's heals on me in a raid would now be around 800. Since JOL is fixed proc rate, this seems like it mildly favors a fast weapon, and is a small indirect buff to Reckoning.
- The LOH change I assume refers to the holy talent, but if it does not, being able to call up mitigation on demand is nice, if on a really long cooldown. If it's the holy talent, this is probably designed to remove the effect of the armor cap with +% armor effects, but should also be a buff to block (since the same change was made to Ancestral Fortitude/Inspiration)
- Toggleable RF! \o/
- The new sacred shield mechanics need clarification: it is only the casting paladin who gets the FOL bonus? Is it the 30-second buff, or the 6-second shield that gives it? Does the FOL heal include overhealing?
- SOV is a fair threat buff. 33% weapon damage is, for me, around 120 dps unbuffed, more like 160-200 in a raid depending on available buffs. Presumably the ShoR change is meant to counteract this, as well as the massive amount of BV that it will now be possible to stack.
The first point I really want to bring up for analysis is Ardent Defender. From the looks of it, the damage reduction effect does not suffer from the internal CD that the DK version does, making it very powerful for any boss that hits for 70+% of a tank's HP regularly. The really crucial change is the new Guardian Spirit-type functionality, on a shorter cooldown than GS at that. This will save a tank through many of the "I had a heal hit right as he died" scenarios, although I don't see it saving lives much outside of that (a boss that hits hard enough to kill you also hits hard enough to kill you again from 30% if the healers aren't on the ball).
The other major point is BV as a threat stat. With double the amount on items, this goes from our fourth best threat stat (after strength, expertise to soft cap, and hit to cap), to possibly being our best. Despite the ShoR change, BV will be roughly 53% better than it is now.