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[Prot] 5.0.4 - Somebody that I used to know


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#1 Wrathblood

Wrathblood

    Don Flamenco

  • • Guide Author
  • 351 posts

Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:53 PM

Protection Paladin 5.0.4 Overview

- I'll paraphrase Celyndrashad to start. The objective isn't to tell you how to build your character and play (though some of that will sneak in). Only you can do that the best way for your situation. But to do that properly you need to know how things work. I'm here to tell you how everything works.

Crucial changes from 4.3 to 5.0.4 you need to know about and might otherwise miss
- Talent tree, cooldowns, coefficients, etc completely revamped.
- You can now store up to 5 HoPo at a time, though you can only use 3 at once
- Abilities mostly have same names, but do different things. ShoR is biggest example. Read up or be surprised.
- No more auras
- Only 1 taunt and its single target
- Remember that the level cap is remaining at 85 for a few more weeks and there won’t be any new content quite yet (so no new bosses, set bonuses or the like yet)

=Disclaimer=
The purpose of the Field Manual to assist you in being a better Paladin tank. The goal is to provide the best and most accurate information possible so you can make the best decisions possible. In some cases theory crafting will suggest only one solution, in other cases you will have a variety of solutions, either way it is your choice to use information from this post. If you feel you have something to contribute or correct please feel free to send me a PM or post in this thread.

This guide is written more as a comprehensive reference than as a straight-through guide. While someone who wants to know all about paladin tanking might read it straight through, its pretty long and I figure most people won't do that. My assumption is that people will come here looking for help with specific questions about abilities or looking for more detail about particular mechanics and aspects of the game. People will use the table of contents to find the answers they are looking for and then move on.

As such, I have leaned towards making each section relatively stand-alone. This will hopefully make for more complete answers to those with questions, but the trade-off is that someone who reads it straight through will find a fair bit of repetition "Didn't he just make that same point 2 sections back? And again 3 sections before that?" Yes, I probably did. Just because someone might read the Stat-weights part does not mean they will also read the Rotation part, so if a particular mechanic is important to both those sections, I probably explain it in both sections. Sorry if it gets repetitive. At least now you know why I did it that way.
________________________________________

=Abbreviations=

Abr Definition
AD Ardent Defender
AP Attack Power
AS Avenger Shield
BiS Best in Slot
BoK Blessing of Kings
BoM Blessing of Might
Con Consecration
CS Crusader Strike
CTC Combat Table Coverage
DP Divine Protection
DS Divine Shield
GAK Guardian of Ancient Kings
GC Grand Crusader
GCD Global Cooldown
HotR Hammer of the Righteous
HoPo Holy Power
HoW Hammer of Wrath
HW Holy Wrath
J Judgement
JotW Judgements of the Wise
LoH Lay on Hands
SoI Seal of Insight
SoT Seal of Truth
ShoR Shield of the Righteous
SS Sacred Shield
SP Spell Power
TbtL Touched by the Light
WoG Word of Glory
________________________________________
=Active Mitigation=

Prot paladin rotation and survivability now revolve around what’s called “Active Mitigation”. The idea is that correctly and efficiently executing your rotation will not only increase your damage done, but also will improve your survivability. The idea revolves around the generation and use of HoPo.

Some abilities generate HoPo: CS, HotR, J and AS when the Grand Crusader proc is up. The more you use these abilities, the more HoPo you get.

Some abilities are “finishers” and use HoPo: ShoR and WoG. Both of these abilities require HoPo to use, are instant cast and off-GCD, and help keep you alive. We no longer have Inquisition.

Our level 75 talents allow generation of HoPo more rapidly. Unlike in Cata, generating more HoPo is primarily a survival boost rather than a threat/dps boost since it will allow you to ShoR and WoG more often.

The HoPo abilities both have strong survival abilities built into them and the more you use them, the more likely you are to survive. In addition, they synergize together and are each more or less useful in different situations. Managing your pool of HoPo and using these abilities together optimally will provide a large survival boost over using them poorly.

ShoR
ShoR costs 3 HoPo to use and is like a guaranteed shield block. It reduces incoming physical damage for a short time (30% for 3 seconds, but the damage reduction increases as you stack Mastery). The more you use it, the less damage you take, but it depends. If you know a big hit is coming, you’ll want to wait before using ShoR. Additionally, each ShoR cast (its ok if it misses) gives you a stack of Bastion of Light which increases the healing done by your next WoG by 10% (stacking up to 5 times).

WoG
WoG is still a heal, but its overheal won’t turn into a shield anymore. Its flexible and can be used with as little as 1 HoPo but scales up with 3 HoPo. Obviously the more Bastion stacks you have, the more attractive WoG looks but it will depend on the situation. ShoR will generally be better, but it does nothing against magic damage and a 3 HoPo, 5-Bastion stack WoG can do a LOT of healing. Figuring out when to use each will be crucial.
________________________________________


=Talent Trees=
- MANY abilities that used to be talents will become baseline or part of a Specialization package (Prot/Holy/Ret) rather than talented-based
- Every 15 levels, Paladins of all Specs will get to choose one of three available talents. Note that some of these abilities changed significantly during Beta and further changes are always possible.

Talents


Level 15 - Mobility
- Speed of Light - Increase run speed by 70% for 8 seconds, 45 second cd
- Long Arm of the Law - Successful Judgment increases run speed by 45% for 3 seconds
- Pursuit of Justice - Baseline +15% to runspeed, plus another 5% for each 1 HoPo

Uptime vs magnitude of speed increase.

Level 30 - Stun/CC
- Fist of Justice - upgraded HoJ - 6 second stun on a 30 second cd, 20 yard range
- Repentance - 1 min cc, 30 yard range, 15 second cd but only 1 target at a time
- Burden of Guilt - successful Judgment applies a 50% snare to target for 12 seconds

CC vs improved stun vs slow

Level 45 - Defensive/Heal
- Selfless Healer - each successful Judgment cuts FoL cast time and mana cost by 35% and increases its effect by 35% when used to heal others, can stack three times
- Eternal Flame - uses all HoPo to heal and HoT a target
- Sacred Shield - puts shield on target that absorbs damage, shield lasts 30 seconds and refreshes its absorption capacity every 6 seconds. 6 second cd, only 1 shield can be up at a time (though multiple shields can be on the same target from different paladins). Absorbs up to 117%SP every 6 seconds.

Better/cheaper access to FoL (the reduced casting time and mana cost *does* work when FoL is self-cast) vs a self-renewing absorb shield. SS looks like the easy winner.

Level 60 - Cleanse/anti-CC
- Hand of Purity - Reduces effect of DoTs on target by 70% for 6 seconds, 30 second cd
- Unbreakable Spirit – Each 1 HoPo spent reduces cd on LoH, DS or DP by 1%, 50% max possible reduction
- Clemency - HoP, HoF, HoSac and HoSalv can each be used twice before their cooldowns start ticking. Play with this in game, it’s easier to understand in action than it is to explain in words

Unbreakable Spirit is probably the most broadly useful, though Hand of Purity will shine on DoT-heavy fights (its ridiculously useful on heroic Baleroc, for example). The utility of Clemency is nice but it’s a niche ability for a tank.

Level 75 - Effectiveness Boost
- Holy Avenger – Abilities that generate HoPo do 30% more damage or healing and give 3 HoPo, lasts 18 seconds, 2 minute cd
- Sanctified Wrath - Avenging Wrath duration is 50% longer, plus it increases healing received by 20% and reduces cd on Judgment by 50%
- Divine Purpose - Every time a HoPo using ability is cast, there is a 25% chance that you will get a buff causing your next HoPo using ability to not consume HoPo but work as though it used 3 HoPo. The buff lasts 8 seconds

Holy Avenger gives controllable burst survivability/threat, Divine Purpose provides steady but less controllable value, and Sanctified Wrath has a bunch of interesting parts. If you decide to take Sanctified Wrath, you really should also take Long Arm of the Law.

Level 90 - Over time healing and damage
- Holy Prism - zaps single target with holy energy. If its an enemy, it takes holy damage, and 5 allies close to it are healed. If its an ally, its healed, and 5 nearby enemies are damaged. 20 second cd, 40 yard range
- Lights Hammer - Creates Consecration-like area that heals allies and damages all enemies inside its area. 30 yard range, 10 yard radius, 17 second duration, 1 min cd
- Execution Sentence - If cast on enemy, inflicts a DoT that also hits hard when it ends. If cast on ally, provides a HoT that provides a heal when it ends. 1 min cd

All three could be optimal depending on the situation, but they won’t be available until MoP actually hits. Jury is still out on which one is broadly the best.

Key Talent points

Normally I shy away from telling people what to do, and mostly you can take whichever talent works best for you, but a few talents are important to be aware of.

- At level 15, if you take SW at 75, you'll want to take Long Arm of the Law here. Otherwise, take what you want.

- At level 30, take whatever works best for you

- At level 45, take Sacred Shield. Its the best one for tanking. If need be, you could macro it to ShoR but SS is on the GCD so it'll make your ShoRs start costing a GCD.

- At level 60, it can't be overstated how good Hand of Purity is on fights involving DoTs (you don't just have to cast it on yourself), but otherwise its useless

- At level 75 is the most important question of the talent tree. DP will give you the most free HoPo over an average period of time (slightly more than HA) but it isn't controllable. HA will give you the most controllable and biggest offensive and defensive burst, and SW provides the least additional HoPo but makes up for it with the most utility. The impact of the additional HoPo is that it affects your up-time on your ShoR buff. More on this later I personally like HA because of how powerful it can be on the Pull (more on this later in the Rotation section) but a strong argument can be made for all three talents.

- We don't have access to level 90 talents yet.

________________________________________

=Stats=

Blizzard has done another large consolidation of stats with this patch/expansion. There are two main differences between Cata and MoP First, Parry is on a kinder DR curve than Dodge now, but we also get roughly as much Parry rating from STR as we do Parry itself. So expect to have much more Parry % than Dodge %, but figuring out whether you will get more value from adding additional Parry or Dodge at any point in time is a little complicated and will be addressed below.

Second, one itemization point *generally* provides:

- 1 point of a “primary” stat (STR, AGIL, INT)
- 1 point of a "secondary" stat (Crit, Haste, Spirit, etc)
- 1.5 points of STA

but itemization from gems is different and favors secondary stats. One itemization point from gemming provides:

- 1 point of a "primary" stat (STR, AGIL, INT)
- 1.5 points of STA
- 2 points of a "secondary" stat (Crit, Haste, Spirit, etc)

Stat Overview


Strength
Increases damage done for all abilities and also gives you a lot of Parry.

Strength contributes 2 AP per STR. Thanks to Guarded by the Light, AP then converts to Spellpower at a 2:1 ratio (so, 2 AP = 1 SP), and most Paladin abilities actually scale off SP, which increases damage done by all paladin abilities. Defensively, STR provides Parry rating just like Parry itself does and Parry Diminishing Returns is applied against their combined total. STR converts at a slightly different rate than Parry. At level 85, STR actually generates more Parry per itemization point than Parry does, but at 90 Parry will be more efficient.

Level 85 - 1% Parry requires 244 STR (before DR)
Level 90 - 1% Parry requires 952 STR (before DR)

Stamina
Gives more health like always.

Stamina, of course, remains important in providing for a large health pool. Vengeance is no longer a function of STA, so there is no longer offensive value in stacking it.

Agility
Terrible stat. Avoid.

Agility no longer provides armor or dodge, and should be avoided. Technically it will increase both your Crit and Dodge very slightly, but its still a very bad stat for us. Generally speaking a piece of gear with Agility is a piece of gear intended for a class other than us.

Dodge Rating
Increases chance of Dodging attacks.

Dodge rating will continue to be on equipment and attractive. It is now possible to Dodge many ranged attacks that could previously only miss.

Level 85 - 1% Dodge requires 265 Dodge rating (before DR)
Level 90 - 1% Dodge requires 888 Dodge rating (before DR)

Parry Rating
Increases chance of Parrying attacks.

Like Dodge, continues to be on equipment and is attractive. As mentioned above, Parry % will also be gained from STR.

Level 85 - 1% Parry requires 265 Parry rating (before DR)
Level 90 - 1% Parry requires 888 Parry rating (before DR)

A word on dodge & parry...

Dodge and Parry, unlike in Cata, are now on different Diminishing Returns scales, with Dodge being hit much harder and faster than Parry. However, in MoP we get significantly more Parry from STR than we did in Cata, and in fact at level 85 we actually get more Parry from STR than we do from Parry itself (per itemization point). So while Parry's DR curve is kinder than Dodge's, we will typically have much more Parry at any point in time, partially equalizing the DR gap. Deciding whether a marginal itemization point would be more valuable in Parry or Dodge is a complicated decision. Theck has kindly written a macro to help people figure out where they will get the most value. Here it is:

" /run ChatFrame1:AddMessage(format("Ideal pre-dr parry/dodge ratio: 3.597, yours is %.3f%%, if too high reforge more parry to dodge",(GetParryChance()-3.67)/(GetDodgeChance()-5.01))) "

Hit Rating
Reduces chance of Miss for both Physical and Spell attacks.

Hit cap is now 7.5% instead of 8%. Hit rating makes you more likely to actually hit the stuff you will be tanking (no damage, no threat). While threat should generally not be a problem, Hit is still a useful stat for two reasons. First, tank dps is now a useful component of raid dps. Second, as we will get into in more detail in the Active Mitigation section, successfully landing your HoPo generators (CS and J) will in fact improve your survivability. I have seen folks arguing in favor of hit capping and possibly soft-capping expertise as well to maximize Active Mitigation. I don't feel this is the correct approach at this point and that putting those points into Mastery, STA or Parry is more effective at keeping you alive.

Level 85 – 7.5% requires 769 Hit rating (not counting racial)
Level 90 – 7.5% requires 2550 Hit rating (not counting racial)

Expertise Rating
Double duty stat. For physical attacks, reduces chance of opponent Dodging or Parrying your attacks, like Hit reduces chance of Miss. For spell attacks, stacks with Hit to reduce chance of Spell Miss. Its a worse stat than Hit because it doesn't work on J.

Like Hit, capping points are now 7.5% instead of 8%. Up to 7.5% Expertise will reduce and (at 7.5%, which is called "Soft Capping") eliminate chance of Boss Dodge AND Spell Miss (assuming you're at 7.5% Hit). Above 7.5% will reduce and (at 15%, which is called "Hard Capping") eliminate Boss Parry. Works like Hit except instead of reducing our chance of missing, it reduces an enemy’s chance of dodging or parrying our attacks. Note that Hit > Expertise for Prot pallies because we have some abilities that can Miss but cannot be Dodged or Parried.

Level 85 – 7.5% expertise requires 769 Expertise rating (not counting racial)
Level 90 – 7.5% expertise requires 2550 Expertise rating (not counting racial)

Haste Rating
Makes our attacks come faster.

Haste has, surprisingly, become a useful stat for Prot Pallies. Thanks to Sanctity of Battle, Haste reduces the length of both the GCD when used on virtually all tanking abilities as well as the cooldowns on those abilities, plus it increases our autoattack speed. As a result, Haste allows us to squeeze more moves (especially HoPo generators) into the same amount of time, making it a useful threat and survivability stat.

Level 85 - 1% Haste requires 128 Haste rating
Level 90 - 1% Haste requires 425 Haste rating

Critical Rating
Terrible stat. Avoid.

Increases chance of Critical hits. Critical hits do more damage and threat, but otherwise do nothing for us. Try hard to avoid gear with Crit.

Mastery


Mastering Mastery
Mastery is a "universal" stat that depending on the player's spec provides different benefits. For now it does not suffer from diminishing returns. For Protection Paladins, Mastery provides block rating, reduced damage when the SHoR buff is active and increases the bonus to WoG healing given by a stack of Bastion. All indications are that this is the only means for Paladins to attain block rating/percentage (with very few exceptions). Paladins will want Mastery... lots of it. See below regarding reforging and Mastery.

In Cata Mastery was the best defensive stat for Protection Paladins but for first tier MoP gear levels, it is a more nuanced situation. At level 90 starting gear levels, Dodge and Parry will provide more damage reduction per itemization point than Mastery. However, Mastery synergizes nicely with Hit, Expertise, and even Haste. Including raid-buff haste and some small amount of unable to reforge Hit and Expertise is likely to be enough to move Mastery ahead of the Avoidance stats.

Level 85 – 1% increased block, damage reduction and increased WoG heal requires 179 Mastery rating
Level 90 – 1% increased block, damage reduction and increased WoG heal requires 600 Mastery rating

Vengeance


In Cata, whenever a Prot paladin took damage, the Paladin received a bonus to AP based on how hard they were hit which was capped by function based on the tank's STA and gradually decayed over time if the tank stopped getting hit. That system is being simplified for MoP.

In MoP, whenever a tank is damaged, the tank receives 2% of the unmitigated damage taken as AP for 20 seconds. There is currently no cap allowing hilarity on things like tanking Heroic Baleroc or using AD to survive gigantic amounts of damage. The details are still slightly fluid in terms of things like avoidance streaks extending the buff and what exactly counts as "unmitigated" damage. Expect this to remain somewhat in flux for a while yet.

CTC


CTC is dead. While not technically impossible (It'll take ~60k Mastery to block cap in MoP. Who knows? Maybe there will be trinkets in the final tier that proc for 10k+ mastery and 60k will be reachable temporarily.) to achieve under current rules, it should not be considered a goal. It would require extraordinary circumstances to get there even temporarily.

While you likely will not be achieving CTC during MoP, it is worth reviewing how combat actually works because its different than it was in Cata (as well as previous expansions). During prior expansions, a "single roll" system was used. When a boss attacked, a single 1-100 roll was made, and all the result was tallied. In a single roll system, it was possible to push “Hit” entirely off the combat table, making “Block” the worst possible result, with regular hits no longer possible. This was where the term CTC came from. The Combat Table was completely Covered, so thanks to stacking defensive stats only positive outcomes are possible.

For example, a CTC set of defensive stats might be: 5% miss, 25% dodge, 25% parry and 45% block. The combat table looked like:

Old System
1-5 Miss
6-30 Dodge
31-55 Parry
56-100 Block
101+ Hit


So "Hit" only happened if you rolled a 101+ (which was impossible). If you had a little less Parry or Block, then Hit would creep back onto the table and become possible. You'd have lost CTC.

In MoP, however, a two-roll system is now in effect. Lets say you have 5% miss, 25% dodge, 25% parry and 45% block again. In Cata, this gave us CTC but lets see how it looks in MoP.

Roll 1:
1-5 Miss
6-30 Dodge
31-55 Parry
56-100 Hit


If, and only if, Roll 1 was a "Hit", then we go to Roll 2.

Roll 2:
1-45 Block
46-100 Hit


So you still have the same stats as before, but the stats don't work together as well as they did in Cata. Instead of having a 0% chance of a "Hit" its now 0.45*0.55= 24% of getting a hit, and to actually entirely remove hits, you need to get either your Block or your Avoidance to 100% without help from the other one. While no specific rules make this impossible, it probably won't be possible with the gear available this expansion.

That's not to say that stats don't work together in MoP, they just work together differently than they used to.

=How to think about your stats=

In MoP, our stats (offensive and defensive) work together in more complex and subtle ways than they did in Cata. In MoP, stats fall into two buckets, Avoidance and Mitigation. Stats in each bucket tend to play well with the other stats in that bucket, but not so well with the stats in the other bucket.

Avoidance stats: STR, Parry, and Dodge

Migitation stats: Mastery, Hit, Expertise and Haste


Avoidance

Avoidance stats are the best stats for reducing your damage taken. Stacking points into one of these three stats will increase your Parry or Dodge, increasing the amount of the Roll 1 Combat Table covered by avoidance. If an incoming attack lands on avoidance, that blow completely fails to hit and you take zero damage which is great.

The downside of Avoidance is that its erratic. Stacking avoidance makes it more likely that you will either take the full hit or have it completely fail to hit. As a result, your incoming damage will be relatively spiky and unpredictable. You take less damage overall but it can be harder to manage.

At level 85, STR is the best Avoidance stat because it converts to Parry Rating (just like Parry does, and in fact their total is what Parry Diminishing Returns is based from. This is something your character sheet won't make very clear) more effectively than Parry itself does. However, at 90 this reverses and Parry becomes more efficient than STR. Whether Dodge or Parry is better depends on how much of each you have. Theck has thoughtfully created a Macro to help figure this out:

" /run ChatFrame1:AddMessage(format("Ideal pre-dr parry/dodge ratio: 3.597, yours is %.3f%%, if too high reforge more parry to dodge",(GetParryChance()-3.67)/(GetDodgeChance()-5.01))) "

Worth noting is that STR, Parry and Dodge all make each other *better* the more of them that you have (not counting diminishing returns). For example, lets say you have 30% total avoidance (Miss/Parry/Dodge added together) and you add 1% more Avoidance (of any sort, doesn't matter). That 1% doesn't reducing your incoming damage by 1%, its better than that.

The 30% avoidance you already have has shrunk your expected incoming damage from, lets say, 100 points to 70 points on average (because, over time, you're already going to avoid 30% of it). So adding 1% more avoidance will save you 1 more point of damage, but that comes off the 70 you're currently expected to take, rather than the 100 you would have taken if you didn't have any Avoidance. So, 1/70 is actually more like 1.4%, so 1% more avoidance actually saves you 1.4% damage in that situation. And as you stack more avoidance, the better it gets. If you are at 40% total avoidance and add 1% more avoidance, instead of saving 1% or even the 1.4% you got at 30%, you actually save 1/60 which is more like 1.65%.

Value for Damage Reduction:

STR > Parry = Dodge

Mitigation

Mitigation stats are designed to affect more incoming attacks than Avoidance stats, but those attacks have their damage reduced by a percentage, rather than to zero like the Avoidance stats. The net results is that you take more damage, but that damage is smoother and less spiky, hopefully making it easier for healers to deal with.

The various Mitigation stats do this in different ways.

- Mastery increases the amount of damage reduction you get when the ShoR buff is up and also increases your chance of blocking incoming attacks that go to the Roll 2 table.
- Hit reduces the chance of your HoPo generators missing (meaning they hit more), which allows you to cast ShoR more, increasing your ShoR buff uptime
- Expertise reduces the chance of your HoPo generators being parried or dodged (meaning they hit more), which allows you to also cast ShoR more, increasing your uptime. Expertise isn't as good as Hit, because Judgment cannot be parried or dodged.
- Haste reduces GCDs and cooldowns on almost all tanking abilities, allowing you to use more moves faster. This allows you to use more HoPo generators in the same period of time, letting you cast ShoR more, increasing your chance of randomly turning into magical ogre mid-fight. No, actually, it increases your ShoR uptime like the other abilities.

Unlike the Avoidance stats, the benefit of Mitigation stats is split into two areas- How much they reduce your damage by and how much they help smooth out your incoming damage, and various stats do these things differently well.

Value for Damage reduction
Mastery > Hit > Haste > Expertise

Value of Damage Smoothing
Hit > Haste > Mastery > Expertise


How well they play together


These stats impact each other in various ways as you stack more of them. For starters, Avoidance stats and Mitigation stats don't work well together. An attack that is avoided is an attack that Mitigation can't reduce the damage of. So each point of an Avoidance stat will make all of the Mitigation stats a little worse. Likewise, all of the Mitigation stats make the Avoidance stats a little worse since its less valuable to completely avoid a blow that might have been reduced by the ShoR buff or blocked.

As discussed before, the Avoidance stats all work well together. Mitigation stats, however, are a little more complicated. Increasing Hit or Expertise makes Mastery and Haste better, but neither will affect Hit or Expertise. Mastery makes Hit, Expertise and Haste all better but actually makes Mastery itself worse (because increasing the size of the ShoR buff is nice, but cuts into the value of Block), and Haste makes Mastery, Hit and Expertise all better.

Amount by which they improve other stats (net):

Haste > Hit > Mastery > Expertise

While this effect is far less important than the actual value of the stats themselves, it is worth keeping in mind.

Determining which Mitigation stats are the most valuable is somewhat subjective as you have to combine damage smoothing, damage reduction and how well the stats help each other to arrive at an end number. Well, last place is easy, its Expertise. Haste is great with the other stats but still is not terribly valuable on its own so its second to last. Mastery is solidly better for damage reduction while Hit (up to 7.5%, after which its FAR less useful) is better for smoothing and helps the other stats slightly more. I'm going to call it a draw for now, though Mastery might be very slightly better.

Overall value of Mitigation Stats
Mastery = Hit > Haste > Expertise


Stamina


Stamina is an oddball. It doesn't reduce damage at all and now that we can't block cap anymore, has no particular synergy with the other defensive stats. One might argue that a Mitigation build needs a little less Stamina to survive and an Avoidance build a little more, but its a preference thing. Stamina just makes you more likely to survive bursts. As a result, you have to work out with your healers how much you need to survive damage spikes, and once you have enough you can put more into either Avoidance or Mitigation. Typically, the more undergeared you are, or the harder the content is that you are working on, the more Stamina you need. Every raid is different.

During Firelands and Dragon Soul, during which Prot Pallies could get block capped, gearing priority was to first get block capped and then stack as much stamina. Because being block capped acted as a multiplier on the value of Stamina, it was kind of like a magic number you wanted to shoot for before doing anything else. In 5.0.4 and after, things are more like they were in tier 11, before block capping was really accessible. There is no magic number to reach anymore. If you are getting burst down too quickly, stack more Stamina. After that, start working with whatever prioritization list above works best for you.

=Reforging=

Now for a word or two about reforging. Reforging will allow you to shift secondary stats around on gear to (hopefully) optimize your build by moving 40% of a secondary stat to a better secondary stat on the same item. Primary stats (Strength/Stamina/Agility/Intellect, Spirit is no longer a primary stat) cannot be reforged to or away from and you cannot reforge to a stat already present on a piece of gear.

There are currently three different potential gearing strategies Prot Pallies can follow, each with strengths and weaknesses: Avoidance, Mitigation, and Control.

Gearing Strategies

Each strategy seeks to optimize a particular aspect of damage taken.

Avoidance focuses on damage reduction and will, on average, take the least damage. But Avoidance will take the spikiest damage and have the least control over timing its active mitigation.

Mitigation balances damage reduction with damage smoothing and control. It will take more damage than Avoidance but less than Control and I believe its damage intake will overall be smoother than Control at the cost of control over active mitigation.

Control focuses on controlling the active mitigation system and using it more precisely. Control will take the most damage, with damage spikiness being better than Avoidance but arguably worse than Mitigation. Control, however, will have the most precise control over our active mitigation and be able to use it the most effectively.

Tanks should decide which approach sounds best and then reforge according to the following priority queues:

Avoidance
(Most valuable) Parry = Dodge >> Hit = Mastery > Haste > Expertise (Least valuable)

Mitigation
(Most valuable) Mastery = Hit (to cap) > Haste > Expertise >> Parry = Dodge (Least valuable)

Control
(Most Valuable) Hit (to cap) > Expertise (to hard cap - 15%) > Mastery > Haste >> Parry = Dodge (Least Valuable)


Bear in mind that no matter what you do, you are likely to end up with both Damage Reduction and Mitigation stats on your gear. Its ok. Even with a bunch of both of them they are all still useful stats to have.

Trying to repurpose DPS gear is more productive than it has been in previous expansions. Since traditional DPS stats like Hit, Haste, and Expertise are now useful Mitigation stats (though not Crit. Crit sucks for us) reforging DPS gear cna be more productive than before. Additionally, the Mitigation stats (other than Mastery) will imrpove your dps as well as your survivability which may have value for your raid.

Do not forget that gemming and enchanting can add to secondary stats so keep in mind your gemming and enchanting choices when reforging and vise-versa.

When does armor come into play?
Armor plays no role in determining how a hit is resolved on the combat table. Only after a hit has been resolved on the table and if it does any physical damage then armor is applied. Armor is another form of mitigation.

Stat Weights


They vary enormously depending on your other stats. While there are example stat weights around, your best bet is to use Theck's graciously crafted spreadsheet and work out your own. https://docs.google.....ESkVXb0E#gid=0

ShoR Uptime


The advantage of Hit and Exp, however, is that they increase your ShoR buff uptimes. Not counting talents, playing perfectly with 0% Hit and Exp, you will probably be able to reach approximately 30-32% uptime. Hitting 7.5% Hit and Hardcapping Exp will get you to about 41% uptime. So, very roughly speaking, 7.5% Hit will increase your uptime by about 4%, and each 7.5% of Exp will increase your uptime by a little over 2%. For comparison, another 4% on top of 31% is almost a 13% increase in uptime.

Adding in talents skews things, but only slightly. All three talents increase base uptime and the progression:

0% Hit/Exp 7.5% Hit/15% Exp

HA: 40% 52%
DP: 40% 51%
SW: 35% 44%


While SW has a lower ShoR uptime, it makes up for it (at least partially) by buffing incoming healing by 20% for 30 seconds every 3 minutes.

Of course, the damage reduction from this increased up-time is already baked into the Damage Reduction stat weights above. The value you are getting from the increased up-time is a reduced time window during which you could take a big spike of damage.

=Abilities=

Several abilities were removed from Prot’s arsenal (Bye, Exorcism. It was fun) and others have been changed significantly (ShoR). Paladin tanks should be careful to familiarize themselves with what our abilities now do. Additionally, Holy Power has been tweaked so that while you still cannot spend more than 3 on an ability, a level 85 or higher Paladin is allowed to “bank” up to 5 HoPo at a time.
Auras


Auras


Paladins no longer have auras. The mounted speed buff for Crusader is now baseline and Devotion Aura has been turned into a cooldown. The rest have been removed.

Seals


[Seal of Insight] - Formerly known as Seal of Light. It has a chance of healing the Paladin for each swing as well as restoring a small amount of mana. In addition, it increases casting speed by 10% and improves healing by 5%. Usually you will not use this seal, though it can be handy when tank damage is relatively unimportant and the tank or raid are taking unusually heavy damage.

[Seal of Righteousness] – AoE Seal that does 6% of weapon damage to all targets within 8 yards as holy damage.

[Seal of Truth] - Applies a stacking DoT called Censure on each hit (application of which can miss) and also remains the principle tanking Seal. Does 12% weapon damage as holy damage on hit. Censure does 107+9.4% SP every 3 seconds for 15 seconds, stacking and refreshing on each new application. Stacks up to 5 times.

Key Abilities


Note that different abilities fall into different categories which affects whether they hit. For terminology clarification, 7.5% Hit is called "hit capped", 7.5% Expertise is called "softcapping Expertise" and 15% Expertise is called "hard capping Expertise".

- Melee attacks have a 7.5% Miss chance, a 7.5% Dodge chance and a 7.5% Parry chance. Hit will reduce your chance of missing and Expertise will reduce your chance of Dodge and Parry, but will only affect one at a time. To cap melee attacks, you need 7.5% Hit and 15% Expertise. Melee attacks include autoattacks, CS, HotR, and ShoR.

- Ranged melee attacks have a 7.5% Miss chance and a 7.5% Dodge chance, but cannot be Parried. 7.5% Hit and 7.5% Expertise are required to cap Ranged melee attacks, except for J which is special. J cannot be Dodged or Parried and only requires 7.5% Miss to cap. Ranged melee attacks include J and HoW.

- Spell attacks have a 15% Miss chance but cannot be Dodged or Parried. However, Expertise reduces Spell Miss just like it reduces Parry or Dodge. So, 7.5% Hit and 7.5% Expertise will cap Spell attacks. Spell attacks include AS, HW, Cons, Repentance, HoJ and Turn Evil.

[Avenger Shield] – Hard hitting spell attack which requires the Paladin to throw their shield (requires a shield to be equipped to use) at a target. If it hits, the shield will chain to up to 2 more targets and it will intelligently avoid cc’ed enemies. Each target hit is damaged, interrupted and silenced for 3 seconds. Grand Crusader procs from CS will refresh the cd and cause an AS cast to grant 1 HoPo. Hard hitting popular pulling tool. 30 yard range, 15 second cd. At 90 it inflicts 4500+130%SP holy damage.

[Consecration] – Surprisingly hard hitting AoE spell attack which creates a glowing patch of ground under your feet with a 10 yard radius lasting 9 seconds and periodically damaging all enemies within its area. 9 second duration, 9 second cooldown. Ticks every second. At 90, does 103+18%SP holy damage per tick (927+162%SP for full duration). Vengeance makes this a surprisingly hard hitting ability on targets which remain in the area of effect for the full duration.

[Crusader Strike] – Soft hitting melee attack which generates a charge of Holy Power if it hits and applies a seal. Does *NOT* apply Weakened Blows debuff to opponents and shares a cooldown with HotR (which *DOES* apply Weakened Blows). Can proc Grand Crusader which will refresh cd on Avenger Shield and cause an AS cast to generate 1 HoPo. 4.5 second cd which it shares with HotR. At 90, does 120% weapon damage.

[Hammer of the Righteous] – Soft hitting melee attack which does a number of things. If the physical attack hits, it generates a charge of Holy Power, applies a seal on the main physically hit target, and blasts everything within 8 yards of the target which both inflicts Holy damage and also affects all targets in range with the debuff "Weakened Blows" (reducing their physical damage dealt by 10% for 30 seconds) . Not limited by the number of targets. If the physical attack misses, none of those affects happen. Hits a lot softer than CS single target (it passes CS in total damage at 4 targets) and is now roughly similar to Warrior Thunderclap. 4.5 second cd which it shares with CS. At 90, the initial target physical hit does 20% weapon damage, while the holy damage does 35% weapon damage.

[Hammer of Wrath] – Hard hitting “execute” ability only useable on targets under 20% health. Ranged melee attack that can Miss or be Dodged but cannot be Parried. 30 yard range, 6 second cd. At 90 inflicts 1470 + 129%SP holy damage.

[Reckoning] - Reckoning has lost its damage component so it is no longer preferable as a single target pull. It now, for all intents and purposes, works the same as the Warrior's taunt. This ability can no longer miss regardless of how good/bad your hit rating is.

[Holy Wrath] – Medium to soft hitting “Meteor-style” spell AoE attack. Does a flat amount of holy damage which is evenly spread among all possible targets. So the more targets in range, the softer it will hit each one. Also stuns demons and undead in range for 3 seconds, and can be glyphed to stun more creature types. 10 yard burst range, 9 second cd. At 90, inflicts 4300+91%SP holy damage split among targets.

[Judgment] – Medium hitting ranged melee ability which generates a charge of Holy Power and applies a seal. J is special in that it can Miss but cannot be Dodged or Parried. This means that Expertise does nothing for it. Once you hit 7.5% Hit, it'll land every time, baring special mechanics. 30 yard range, 6 second cooldown. At 90, inflicts 562+ 113.4%SP holy damage

[Righteous Fury] - This ability increases all threat generated by 500%. Also Blizzard has been nice enough to remind Paladins in the tool tip that this ability makes you a better tank.

[Sacred Shield] - Must be talented into, but its the ability on its tier that you should really take. SS is a self-renewing absorb shield you can cast on any friendly target, but you should generally cast it on yourself (or possibly the other tank if its a tank swap). A paladin can only have 1 SS up at a time, but multiple paladins can all stack their SS's on the same target. SS lasts 30 seconds, and every 6 seconds after its cast, puts up an absorb shield. The first shield goes up 6 seconds after SS is cast. Every 6 seconds after that, the shield is renewed back to full absorption regardless of how much damage it took during the prior 6 seconds. 40 yard range, 6 second cooldown (though after each recast, there is a 6 second delay before the first shield comes up). Absorb is 30+117%SP, refreshed every 5 seconds.

[Shield of the Righteous] – Used to be our principle single target attack, now it’s a medium-hitting, off-GCD melee attack which we will still use frequently for its value in Active Mitigation. This requires 3 HoPo to use and as such will not activate unless you have at least that much on your HoPo gauge. When used, reduces physical damage taken by 30% (Mastery increases this) for 3 seconds and adds 1 stack of Bastion of Glory (BoG increases healing done by your next WoG by 10%. Stacks up to 5 times). 1.5 second cd, inflicts 617+108%SP holy damage.

[Word of Glory] – No longer has a cooldown nor can it be used for pre-emptive shielding. An instant, off-GCD HoPo powered heal with no mana cost. Can be used offensively as a damage spell with the Glyph of Harsh Words. 40 yard range, heals for 4030+37.7%SP per HoPo used.

Cooldowns

These abilities help you survive situations where your risk of death is elevated. These situations range from the obvious - a special attack on a predictable timer - to the more subtle but no less deadly, like a debuff that disables or distracts your healers. Here are a couple guidelines for using cooldowns effectively:
• Use cooldowns before you take damage. If you use GoAK at 200k HP, the cooldown is effectively adding 200k more HP before you die. If you wait until things look bad and you reach 50k HP, it only adds an effective 50k HP. Waiting to use your cooldowns until you’re at low HP makes them less effective.
• You get the most impact by waiting to use cooldowns during the most dangerous situations, but the more frequently youuse them, the more total value you get. It’s a balancing act.
• Match the cooldown to the level of threat by planning your cooldown usage before the fight. Save GoAK for when you know a big hit is coming, but unless there is a special ability with which it lines up well, DP should be used early and often even on regular incoming damage.

[Ardent Defender] – While active, reduces all damage taken by 20%. Additionally, one attack that would have killed the paladin (must happen while AD is active) will instead heal the paladin for 15% of max health. Note that this does not typically work on environmental effects, such as falling damage, and a few “big hit” boss abilities (such as Impale from Heroic Madness in DS) are able to negate the “save death” ability. However, most abilities do not. Being able to survive a gigantic hit may allow shenanigans with Vengeance stacking since it is now driven by damage taken. 10 second duration, 3 minute cd.

[Avenging Wrath] – The paladin does +20% damage and healing while active. Talents like Holy Avenger and its glyph can add significantly to its effectiveness. 20 second duration, 3 minute cd.

[Devotion Aura] – Divine Guardian and Holy’s Concentration Aura rolled into one. When active, all party and raid members within 40 yards take 20% less magic damage and become immune to Silences and Interrupts. Doesn’t affect physical damage, but most raid damage is magical anyway. 6 second duration, 3 minute cd.

[Divine Protection] – DP has been changed so that, while active, it provides a 40% reduction in magic damage taken but does not affect physical damage. It can be glyphed back to the Cata version of 20% damage reduction against everything. 10 second duration, 1 minute cd.

[Divine Shield] – Makes the Paladin temporarily invulnerable but also reduces damage done by 50% and removes the tank from the boss’s aggro table. Many “big hit” boss abilities are able to penetrate DS (Impales from Heroic Madness in DS being a prime example). Using DS typically makes the boss immediately turn and attack someone else, so needs to be used with care. It is often used in conjunction with a /cancel macro to quickly cast and remove the effect, as it clears many, though not all, debuffs. This ability also causes Forbearance. Note that both Divine Shield and Hand of Protection can both be used, carefully, as true defensive cooldowns by pairing them with taunts. 10 second duration, 5 minute cd.

If a Paladin tank pops Divine Shield, then immediately taunts the mob, instead of heading for the next target on its aggro table, the mob will be stuck on the tank for the duration of the fixate (3 seconds). Obviously the mob will head for the next target as soon as the fixate expires. So while this can be a clever way of avoiding damage entirely for a few seconds, it must be used very carefully and probably in conjuction with a macro to quickly remove the shield. The Glyph of Righteous Retreat makes the activation time of a Hearthstone shorter than the duration of DS, allowing for a bubble-hearth (which should not be used mid-raid, because that would be bad).

[Guardian of Ancient Kings] - This is now the major cooldown for tanking Paladins. GAK will reduce damage to the tanking Paladin by 50%. 12 second duration, 3 minute cd.

[Hand of Protection] - Hand of Protection can be used on yourself or any party or raid member. While active, it makes the target immune to physical damage but also prevents them from attacking physically (spells are still fine). Its like DS in that if you cast it on yourself while tanking, it will often cause you to lose aggro and the boss will turn and destroy someone else. Causes Forbearance for 1 minute. 40 yard range, 10 second duration, 5 minute cd.

[Lay on Hands] - LoH remains an important cooldown for tanking Paladins. Casting it will heal the target equal to the maximum health of the casting Paladin. It is off the global cooldown, cannot crit heal, is not effected by many healing boosting effects, and will cause Forbearance for 1 minute on whomever it's cast. 10 minute cd.


Buffs, Taunts, Interrupts, & Stuns


Note that Hand of Righteousness is gone, so Prot paladins now have only 1 taunt and its single target.

[Rebuke] - Now a baseline ability, this allows you to interrupt spellcasting, and like all non-damaging interrupts it cannot miss.

[Hand of Reckoning] - Single target taunt, never misses. Increases your threat to equal whatever player has the highest amount of threat on the target. Also forces target to fixate on you (only attacks you) for 3 seconds. 30 yard range, 8 second cd.

[Hammer of Justice] - A dedicated stunning ability. 20 yard range, 1 minute cd.

[Blessing of Kings] – Now increases party and raid members’ STR, AGIL and INT by 5%. Does not increase STA or Spirit.

[Blessing of Might] – Now increases party and raid members’ Mastery by an amount that scales with level.

Level 85 - 893 Mastery
Level 90 - 3000 Mastery
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=Mechanics & Rotation=


The Pull

1. Pre-cast Sacred Shield on yourself as you approach (if you have it. You should really have it.)
2. If you spec'ed into Holy Avenger or Sanctified Wrath, you may want to pop it here
3. Cast Judgment to get your first HoPo
4. Cast Avenger Shield for more threat
5. HotR should be your first melee attack to spread the Weakened Blows debuff, unless you popped HA. If you popped HA, open with ShoR and use HotR second
6. Start normal rotation

The pull is arguably the rockiest part of a fight for us during this pre-MoP limbo period and using cooldowns on the pull can help a lot.

Threat can be questionable. Our initial pull burst of DP-Wings-J-ShoR can't be done anymore and nothing hits as hard as ShoR used to. Making it worse, many dps classes have gotten buffs of various sorts and being dps they want to try out their new toys. Our sustained dps is better than it was because we get more out of Vengeance, but Vengeance takes time to build up potentially leaving us vulnerable on the pull.

Additionally, our incoming damage is spikier thanks to the loss of block-capping. While active mitigation makes things ok, you will be vulnerable during the 5-6 seconds before you can get that first ShoR off.

Popping DP (glyphed or not, depending on the fight) during the pull can help with the vulnerability. For threat, popping Avenging Wrath is a good idea. Technically it will be a net dps loss for the fight as you will be using your offensive cooldown when you have your lowest Vengeance of the fight. However, failing to establish threat early will cause your raid more overall trouble than your piddly loss of dps.

Spec'ing into either Holy Avenger or Sanctified Wrath, makes popping AW (or HA+ AW) significantly more effective.

Sanctified Wrath
SW will extend the length of your period of additional damage, give healers a +20% on healing down to you during that period, and will reduce the cd on J. The cooldown reduction on J will serve as a further threat boost, plus it will increase your HoPo generation, allowing more and earlier ShoRs which is both a further threat increase as well as a significant survivability boost.

Holy Avenger
Popping both AW and HA means that for almost the entirety of AW, every HoPo generating ability will do +30% damage (in addition to the +20% from AW) and will generate 3 HoPo instead of 1. This means the J you cast as you approach the boss will give you 3 HoPo, enough to use ShoR as your first melee attack on the boss (use HotR second). You can then continue slamming the boss with buffed HoPo generators and ShoRs until the buffs wear off. This approach will give you a gigantic early threat lead and make you extraordinarily sturdy during arguably the most dangerous part of the fight. I'm a huge fan of this approach.

The Rotation


First off, you should be using Seal of Truth with 1-3 targets (though there may be an occasional opportunity to use Seal of Insight) and Seal of Righteousness with 4+ targets. As for the rotation, its totally changed. CS and HotR now have 4.5 second cds, so our rotation feels more like Ret’s rotation felt in Cata though our HoPo finishers are both off the GCD. The rotation is also heavily affected by HoPo (as described above) and we want to generate and use as much HoPo as possible.

The way to maximize your rotation is to take your best moves and use them first, and if you have two moves that are equally good, use the one with the shortest cd first and the one with the longer cd second. You end up being able to use your abilities more and have fewer empty GCDs this way. CS and J are our two most important abilities on the GCD (because they generate HoPo) and CS has the shorter cd, so its the most important, followed by J.

An easy way to think of the rotation is we cast CS every 3rd GCD, and fill in the empty spots with Filler moves.

Single Target Queue

CS - Filler – Filler – CS – Filler – Filler – CS – Filler – Filler (and so on)

For filler moves, your priority should be:
J > AS (whether GC is up or not) > Your level 90 talent > Consecration > Holy Wrath

Cooldowns on the Filler moves should be short enough that these abilities will be close to GCD-locking you. Once you’re past the pull, incorporating the priorities into the basic queue gives us something that looks like:

CS – J - AS – CS – L90 – J – CS – Cons - HW (and so on)

Though it won’t be static because when GC procs, AS should be used in place of anything except CS or J and you should be getting one every 15 GCDs or so. ShoR and WoG are off GCD so they aren’t in the rotation.

ShoR should be cast as quickly as possible to start building Bastion stacks. Slowly accumulating extra HoPo up to the cap of 5 is a good safety move, allowing speedy access to a ShoR or WoG if things go bad. However, never ever waste HoPo by going over the cap. Every time you waste HoPo an angel gets demoted and loses its wings.

Every lost HoPo, either from going over the cap, using the wrong abilities or mashing your buttons too slowly costs you one second of reduced damage from ShoR. If you miss 10 over the course of a fight, that’s 10 seconds during which you take full damage when you could be taking at least 30% less physical damage (and probably much less).

Every 30 seconds or so, you will need to replace one CS with HotR to maintain the Weakened Blows debuff and one other ability of your choice with recasting Sacred Shield. Follow the priority list in reverse order to decide which ability to use. If you replace a HoPo generating ability to recast Sacred Shield, you’ll make kittens cry.

Sanctified Wrath
One big caveat to this rotation is if you spec'ed into Sanctified Wrath, during the period AW is active, your priorities will change. During this period your cd on J drops to 3 seconds. This makes J's cd shorter than CS's, so J becomes our most important move. To take advantage of this, you will want to prioritize J over everything else (including CS). Your new priority queue will look like:

J > CS > AS (whether GC is up or not) > Your level 90 talent > Consecration > Holy Wrath

Use this queue until AW fades, then return to your normal queue.

AoE Queue (4 or more targets)

We no longer have Inquisition, so don’t worry about trying to use it. Things don’t change very much in an AoE situation. Use Seal of Righteousness instead of Seal of Truth and HotR instead of CS. Its base then looks like this:

HotR - Filler – Filler – HotR – Filler – Filler – HotR – Filler – Filler (and so on)

and the Filler prioritization looks like this:

J > AS (with GC proc) > Cons > AS (no GC proc) > Your level 90 talent > Holy Wrath

Giving us an end result something like:

HotR – J - Cons – HotR – J – AS - HotR – Level90 - HW (and so on)

J remains ahead of AS (even with GC) because we need the HoPo for ShoR. As long as you keep targets in its area of effect for the full duration, Consecration really does hit quite hard and really does move ahead of AS with as few as 4 targets.

Sanctified Wrath
If you have Sanctified Wrath and AW up and running, still prioritize J over HotR. Yes, you'll lose some AoE damage, but HotR hits like a wet noodle anyway so you aren't losing very much. If its a serious AoE situation (10+ mobs) and your survival isn't an issue, then I guess you can keep prioritizing HotR over J, but that would make it a pretty bad time to use AW. Do what you've gotta do.

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=Professions=

When considering professions, enchants and gemming you need to decide whether you are following an Avoidance strategy, a Mitigation strategy or a Control Strategy. This is just like the Stat priority from the Reforging section, except that Armor and STR (neither of which you can reforge into) are included as well. Note that Armor may not be available as an enchant this Expansion. Current signs are that it is not.

Avoidance
Strength > Parry = Dodge >> Armor > Mastery = Hit > Expertise


Mitigation
Mastery = Hit > Haste > Armor > Expertise > Strength > Parry = Dodge


Control
Hit > Expertise > Mastery > Armor > Haste >> Parry = Dodge


Stamina

Note that Stamina is not included on the lists, because (as noted in the Stat section) Stamina is an oddball. It doesn't reduce damage at all, it just makes you more likely to survive it. As a result, you have to work out with your healers how much you need to survive damage spikes, and once you have enough you can put more into either Avoidance or Mitigation. Typically, the more undergeared you are, or the harder the content is that you are working on, the more Stamina you need. Every raid is different.

During Firelands and Dragon Soul, during which Prot Pallies could get block capped, gearing priority was to first get block capped and then stack as much stamina. Because being block capped acted as a multiplier on the value of Stamina, it was kind of like a magic number you wanted to shoot for before doing anything else. In 5.0.4 and after, things are more like they were in tier 11, before block capping was really accessible. There is no magic number to reach anymore. If you are getting burst down too quickly, stack more Stamina. After that, start working with whatever prioritization list above works best for you.

Various professions offer various benefits for a tanking Paladin. Below is a summary of what professions provide what. An immediate concern is that profession perks are somewhat all over the place in terms of value provided, instead of being cookie cutter precisely equal as they were in Cata. My impression is that some standardizing tweaks are likely before MoP hits. Still, we can guess at which professions will be more valuable than others.

BS, JC, Inscription, and Enchanting are extremely closely balanced, providing 320 itemization points of value and being flexible for dual-spec characters. BS and JC are arguably slightly ahead as they provide slightly more flexibility, allowing some choice in what stat the bonus points go into. Alchemy also provides flexibility in terms of stat bonus and allows placing cauldrons, but requires re-flasking if you need to change to another role. Mining is a step behind as its +STA gain is acceptable for tanking but a dual-spec player would get minimal benefit for an off-spec.
Leatherworking might in fact be the best overall tanking profession but it remains to be seen exactly what competing wrist enchants will be available. Engineering looks good for entry raiding, as the crafted helms are easily the best available pre-raid, and the various gadgets provide helpful utility. The Phase hand enchant might be extremely strong in the first raiding tier if STA stacking is not the obvious way to go, though its value will diminish as DR bites it with increasing strength over the course of the expansion.

Skinning, Herbalism, and Tailoring remain unattractive to paladin tanks.

Alchemy

The benefits to tanking are useful but lacking in flexibility. Additional benefits include a percentage bonus benefit when using potions/flasks/etc and longer durations on flask/elixir based buffs through [Mixology] possibly providing +720 Armor and +240 Mastery or +480 STA. A penalty of Alchemy is that one must swap flasks/elixirs if one changes specs and wants to keep the profession bonus.

Blacksmithing

Beyond crafting your own plate gear, the primary purpose of this profession is to provide you with two additional gemming slots ([Socket Bracer] [Socket Gloves]) to stuff additional gems, allowing 480 Stamina or 640 of secondary stats. The range of gems available makes this a very flexible profession.

Enchanting

The primary benefit enchanting has for tanking is the +240 STA to each of your rings for a total gain of 480 STA stamina. For those with Retribution off-specs there are the +STR ring enchants to consider as well.

Engineering

Engineering has filled the role of crafting usable equipment, namely specialized helms and ranged weapons. This continues with MoP. While the crafted head is an excellent early raiding piece, the overall benefit of the hand enchant is weak. The options are Synpase Springs which will increase your highest non-STA primary stat, presumably STR, by 2940 for 10 seconds, with a 60 second cd (average value 490) and Phase Gloves which work the same way but increase Dodge (average value of 490 again). While this is a lot of stat gain, STR isn’t a great tanking stat for us and Dodge’s DR makes sharp gains like this particularly inefficient.

Herbalism

Herbalism provides little benefit to tanking Paladins; [Lifeblood] provides 20 seconds of 2880 Haste every 2 minutes (averaging 480 Haste, but its really dependent on length of fight) plus a small self heal. Haste does have some survival value for us but the heal is too small to be of use in a raid.

Inscription

The main benefit of Inscription is the special shoulder enchants only available to Inscriptionists, which provide the exact same bonus options (net of the more widely available shoulder inscriptions) as Enchanting (+480 STA). As a further bonus, Inscriptions can craft a number of items including shoulder enchants (that’s correct, should enchants will now come from Inscriptionists rather than from a faction vendor). Beyond that if you have good access to herbs you can create your own glyphs.

Jewelcrafting

Jewelcrafting can provide interesting trinkets but its primary benefit is the unique gems ([Solid Chimera's Eye]) only usable by jewel crafters, the net benefit of which is 320 Primary stats or 480 Stamina, making it comparable to Blacksmithing, though less flexible.

Leatherworking

The primary benefit for tanking Paladins provided by leatherworking would be the Draconic Embossment for bracers with the +STAM enchant presumably the most attractive providing a net 750 STA gain. Combined with the potential raid utility of the surprisingly still functional Drums of Speed, LW is an attractive tanking profession though additional wrist enchants could become available.

Mining

[Toughness] is the main benefit provided by mining and it is worth 480 STA. It provides little benefit to dps/healing off-specs. Mining is also the support profession for Blacksmithing, Engineering, and Jewelcrafting.

Skinning

Provides [Master of Anatomy] which gives 480 Crit. Crit provides zero defensive value making this one of the least optimal professions for us.

Tailoring

Tailoring allows for the embroidering of cloaks. None of the embroidering options are ideal for Protection Paladins so this profession is also one of the least optimal for tanks.


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=Glyphs, Enchants, Gems and Consumables=

Glyphs


Prime glyphs are gone and we are now back to just having Major, and Minor glyphs again. As usual Minor glyphs are mostly cosmetic, though a few actually do things though Major glyphs are also less game-changing than most of the Prime Glyphs were. The glyphs are definitely more niche than before and the choice of top glyphs is less clear. Expect to swap your Major glyphs around a lot for fights. You get 3 Major and 3 Minor glyphs.

Major

[Glyph of Alabaster Shield] – Successful blocks increase the damage of ShoR by 20%, stacking up to 3 times.

[Glyph of Avenging Wrath] – When Avenging Wrath is active, you heal 1% of max health every 2 seconds. A 10% heal over 20 seconds every 3 minutes. Meh.

[Glyph of the Battle Healer] – Melee attacks with Seal of Insight heal a nearby (within 30 yards) wounded ally for 30% of damage done. Might be useful for OT.

[Glyph of Consecration] – Consecration can now be targeted anywhere within 25 yards of the Paladin. Fantastic for 5-mans and trash pick-up.

[Glyph of Dazing Shield] – Avenger’s Shield now dazes targets for 10 seconds

[Glyph of Divine Protection] – It’s the opposite of how it worked before. Divine Protection is now a 40% reduction in magic damage but does nothing to physical damage. With the glyph it’s a flat 20% damage reduction against everything.

[Glyph of Double Jeopardy] - Increases damage from Judgments by 20% when your next Judgment is used on a different target than the last one

[Glyph of Final Wrath] – Holy Wrath does +50% damage against targets with less than 20% health

[Glyph of Focused Shield] – Avenger Shield now hits 2 fewer targets and hits 30% harder. Good for single target

[Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous] – Causes the damage reduction debuff from HotR to last 50% longer. Probably the closest thing we have to a mandatory glyph.

[Glyph of Harsh Words] – Allows Paladin to cast WoG on an enemy, doing damage equal to WoG healing. Potentially useful as a ranged pickup tool.

[Glyph of Holy Wrath] – Holy Wrath normally damages everything in range and stuns Undead and Demons for 3 seconds. This glyph makes it also stun Elementals and Dragonkin. Situationally useful.

[Glyph of Immediate Truth] – Seal of Truth damage increased by 30%, but Censure damage reduced by 50%. It’s a net damage loss, but makes damage slightly burstier which could help picking up adds.

The only real survivability glyphs are Avenging Wrath which is pretty lackluster for raiding and Divine Protection which doesn’t really add survivability instead just shifting it around. Instead you have a choice of utility/helping others (Dazing Shield, Battle Healer, HotR) vs threat tweaking (Focused Shield and Alabaster Shield are great single target, while Consecration and perhaps Double Jeopardy are better for AoE situations). I will probably start with something like HotR, Consecration and Alabaster Shield but will likely change them frequently.

Minor
Minor glyphs are mostly cosmetic only. The only ones that have an actual effect are:

[Glyph of the Falling Avenger] – Casting Avenging Wrath also affects you with Slow Fall

[Glyph of Focused Wrath] – Holy Wrath only affects one target. Might be interesting in single target vs AoE situations. Kind of surprising it exists because its such an outlier from the other Minor glyphs.

[Glyph of the Mounted King] – Mounting a paladin class mount auto-casts Blessing of Kings on you

[Glyph of Righteous Retreat] – While Divine Shield is active, Hearthstones take 50% as long to activate. This is the first glyph I will be picking up when 5.0.4 goes live.

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Enchants


Enchants

Many enchants have been changed/removed to reflect the new stat system that has been implemented. Below are suggested enchants for tanking Paladins; choices might depend on your build. Do keep in mind your enchanting choices relative to your gemming in gearing choices when reforging later.

Slot Enchant
Head – none. Head enchants no longer exist.

Shoulders [Greater Ox Horn Inscription] +300 STA and +100 Dodge made by Inscriptionists. [Secret Ox Horn Inscription] is the Inscriptionist-only version.

Back [Enchant Cloak – Greater Protection] - +200 STA

Chest [Enchant Chest – Superior Stamina] - +300 STA

Wrist [Enchant Bracer – Dodge] - +170 Dodge, LWs will use [Fur Lining – Stamina] and BSs will socket for another gem

Hands [Enchant Gloves - Superior Mastery] - +170 Mastery. [Phase Fingers] is the Engy-only enchant and it stacks with the regular enchant

Finger [Enchant Ring - Superior Stamina] - +240 STA (Enchanters Only)

Legs [Ironscale Leg Armor] - +430 STA and +165 Dodge, made by LWs

Feet [Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step] - +140 Mastery and increased run speed

Weapon
[Enchant Weapon – River’s Song] – your melee attacks can proc a 1750 Dodge buff lasting 7 seconds (2 ppm, chance of procing on melee attacks that hit or are dodged or parried, but not miss, no cd)
[Enchant Weapon - Colossus] – your melee attacks can proc a 7500 damage absorb shield (3 ppm, chance of procing on melee attacks that hit or are dodged or parried, but not miss, 3 second cd)
[Enchant Weapon – Windsong] – your melee attacks and non-periodic spells and heals can trigger a random buff which can either be +1500 Mastery, +1500 Haste or +1500 Crit, with a 12 second duration. You can have more than 1 of the buffs up at a time (1 ppm, chance of procing on melee hits, and all non-periodic damage or healing. 1 second cd)
In terms of value, they probably go River’s Song > Colossus > Windsong, but their cost is similar in order and goes River’s Song >>>> Colossus > Windsong.

Shield [Enchant Shield – Greater Parry] - +170 Parry


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Gems



Gems are one of the least changed items from Cata to MoP. Itemization levels have been increased by a factor of 4, but the same colors, kinds of cuts, etc are all still in place. Below are preferred gems for Protection Paladins. It is not yet clear whether reducing damage or maximizing EH will be the better gemming strategy. The Fine Vermilion Onyx potentially looks a good bit more attractive in MoP than it did in Cata, and it wasn’t that bad in Cata.

Meta

[Austere Primal Diamond] - +324 Stamina and 2% increased armor from items
[Effulgent Primal Diamond] - +324 Stamina and -2% spell damage taken
[Eternal Primal Diamond] - +324 Stamina and +1% shield block value

Unclear yet which will be the most valuable, but I suspect their alphabetical order will also be the order of their usefulness.


Rare

Single Stats
[Fractured Sun’s Radiance] - +240 Mastery (Counts as a Yellow gem)
[Solid River’s Heart] - +240 Stamina (Counts as a Blue gem)

Combination w/ Stamina
[Defender's Imperial Amethyst] - +160 Parry Rating and +120 Stamina (Counts as a Red or Blue gem)
[Puissant Wild Jade] - +160 Mastery Rating and +120 Stamina (Counts as a Yellow or Blue gem)
[Regal Wild Jade] - +160 Dodge Rating and +120 Stamina (Counts as a Blue or Yellow gem)
[Sovereign Imperial Amethyst] - +80 Strength and +120 Stamina (Counts as a Red or Blue gem)

Other Combinations
[Fine Vermilion Onyx] - +160 Parry Rating and +160 Mastery Rating (Counts as a Red or Yellow gem)
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Consumables


A food and other self applied buffs are necessary to be effective. The following are appropriate foods, potions, elixirs, flasks, and scrolls to use while tanking.

Food

The new "feast" of MoP is [Pandaran Banquet], which will provide the +275 of a useful stat for 1 hour (note that this is not a useful stat+STA, its just the useful stat). This version is for 10-man raids. [Great Pandaran Banquet] is the 25-man version. Food appears to only boost a single primary stat, making it much less flexible than it has been in past expansion (+hit, +parry, etc food no longer appears to be available) and leaving Prot Pallies with two food options if Feasts are not available.

[Chun Tian Spring Rolls] - +450 Stamina
[Black Pepper Ribs and Shrimp] - +300 Strength

Potions

The value of potions diminishes a bit from Cata to MoP. While rare gem and profession perk benefits go up roughly 400%, potion itemization budgets only increased ~250%. So pre-potting will still be valuable, but it may generate slightly less punch than it did in Cata. This gap could be made up by the doubling of itemization for secondary stats, but there aren’t any potions for increasing secondary stats.

Beyond the usual health and mana potions, there are two possibly useful ones. Remember, only one potion can be used per fight (two with pre-potting). [Potion of the Mountains] - +12000 armor for 25 seconds, for times of high incoming physical damage and [Potion of Mogu Power] - +4000 STR for 25 seconds, on the pull or during burn phases when tank dps is crucial.

Elixirs

As usual there are a variety of elixirs to choose from. Below is a list of the most likely that you'll need. Remember that you can have only 1 of each type of elixir (Battle and Guardian) at any given time. Note that the itemization gained from using a pair of elixirs is substantially superior to using a flask. Each lasts for 1 hour. Like potions, itemization totals have only gone up 250% from Cata, but the doubling of Secondary stats makes up for it. Note the introduction of a +Dodge Elixir. Pairing Mastery and Dodge Elixirs may be an attractive option.

[Elixir of Perfection] - +750 Hit rating (Battle Elixir)
[Elixir of Weaponry] - +750 Expertise rating (Battle Elixir)
[Monk’s Elixir] - +750 Mastery rating (Battle Elixir)

[Elixir of Mirrors] - +750 Dodge rating (Guardian Elixir)
[Mantid Elixir] - +2250 Armor (Guardian Elixir)


Flasks

One flask also counts as a Battle and Guardian Elixir and they last for an hour. Guild perks will no longer extend duration for non alchemists, so stock up. Below are recommended flasks.

[Flask of Winter’s Bite] - +1000 Strength
[Flask of the Earth] - +1500 Stamina

Given current options, either Flask of the Earth for STA or Monk’s + Mirrors Elixirs are likely to be the most attractive options, though Mantid Elixir could be a dark horse.
________________________________________


=Macros=

Macros are intended to make your life easier. Below are a few macros for your benefit. Please send me any macros you think maybe useful for tanking Paladins.

Quick De-buff Clearing Macro
This macro activates Divine Shield and then immediately cancels the effect. This will force almost all de-buffs and other negative effects to be removed from you and simultaneously cancel the shield so you do not lose threat for more than a moment.

#showtooltip (needs to be hit twice)
/cancelaura Divine Shield
/cast Divine Shield


Cleanse Macro

#showtooltip
/cast [@mouseover,help][@target,help][@targettarget,exists,help][@player] Cleanse

Hand of Protection Macro

#showtooltip Hand of Protection
/cast [target=mouseover,exists,help] Hand of Protection; [target=target,help] Hand of Protection; [target=targettarget,exists,help] Hand of Protection; [target=player] Hand of Protection; Hand of Protection;

Interrupt Focus Macro

#showtooltip
/cast [@focus, exists, harm][@focustarget, exists, harm][ ] Rebuke

Theck's Parry/Dodge balancing macro

/run ChatFrame1:AddMessage(format("Ideal pre-dr parry/dodge ratio: 3.597, yours is %.3f%%, if too high reforge more parry to dodge",(GetParryChance()-3.67)/(GetDodgeChance()-5.01)))
________________________________________

=Credits=

Thanks to Darkside, Malthrin, and emptyrepublic from whom I’ve taken the formatting.
Theck and the rest of the Maintankadin crew for their vast awesomeness.
Also thank you to Corylus, Ronark, and Celydrashad for the advice and suggestions.

#2 Wrathblood

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:06 PM

The formatting is uglier than I even expected, sorry about that. I'll be cleaning it up for a few days. The links will probably get fixed last.

Please let me know when you find mistakes, whether its a typo, me miscommunicating an idea, an out of date coefficient or whatever. I'll get on it as quickly as I can manage. I'd like this to be as up-to-date as possible so feel free to pound away.

#3 Capstone

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:15 AM

A few notes:

Strength to parry conversion is no longer 25%. At 85 Strength is better than parry rating, at 90 it is slightly worse. For reference, 1% parry at L85 is 244 Str / 265 parry rating; at L90 it is 952 Str / 888 parry rating -- before DR of course.

Might buff is not 5% mastery. It is mastery rating; at L85 it gives 893 mastery rating, and at L90 it gives 3000 mastery rating.

Hand of Reckoning no longer exists, so the macro for it can be removed. Ditto for Divine Plea for protection.

I believe Harsh Words has a 30 yd range, so it's another ranged pickup tool if you want one.

Could use a priority queue for AoE rotation... might be nitpicking, but it'd be nice if the two sections were more symmetrical.

CTC is impossible now because the hit table no longer works as described here. There is a two-roll system in place now; first the avoidance table is rolled to determine hit/no hit, then the results table is rolled to determine block/normal/crit. Thus the only way to achieve CTC as it was before is either have 100% avoidance from dodge and parry or 100% block from mastery.

Edit: nevermind about the gems, forgot that gems in MoP will have twice as much parry as they would strength.

#4 Charybdis

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:21 AM

It might be worth linking or making note of the way our stats were determined to interact at MoP Beta Mitigation Stat Weights – b15983 | Sacred Duty. The stats are volatile enough that we might even have different gearing styles, especially once we factor in talents like Divine Purpose. Note that DP tips things very much in favor of hit and mastery whereas during Holy Avenger the "threat" stats have no survival value because it's 100% SotR uptime. Still, Theck does have the caveat about waiting until the Monte Carlo simulation can be done to see just how volatile the stats are.

#5 Nooska

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:21 AM

You might also want to make a note of haste, as haste interacts very positively with the hit/exp/mastery route, making it hit/exp/mastery/haster versus dodge/parry for gearing paradigms (one counteracts the other, and vice versa)

#6 boosted_EJ1

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 02:19 PM

O im sooo glad to see this posted up. I felt so lost yesterday, just decided to wing most of every thing.

#7 Wrathblood

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, I agree with just about all of them and have incorporated most of them in various ways.

The biggest point that people have raised is the need to go into the synergies both between certain stats and also with talents. I had kind of held off on that (other than vaguely commenting that Haste/Hit/Exp worked well with Mastery and leaving it at that) out of fears that someone would quickly work out that one approach or the other (my money's on Mastery and Co but I could be wrong) ends up clearly superior and I didn't want to steer people the wrong way.

However, since we're all still stuck at 85 for the next few weeks anyway, I guess there's no harm in expanding on it and there are some interesting choices to be made in the short-run. If an advantage of Hit-Exp-Mastery is that it does more damage, then an addition to the Avoidance-stacking approach is to find ways to work in more STR (obviously not gems or reforging but perhaps enchants or just gear selection). Since you get more Avoidance out of it than stacking Parry plus its a decent dps gain.

Besides, this is all going to get redone from more of a level 90 raiding perspective when MoP hits anyway. If one approach has clearly won by then, the other won't make an appearance in that version.

Charybdis, I do have a quibble with Hit and Expertise having no value when HA is up. You only have 100% SHoR uptime if all your generators are landing, which means being Hit and Exp capped. Sure, they have no value past capping, but then they don't have any value past that point in other situations either. One could even argue that they're more valuable during HA because its so much value during a short period of time. Having a couple of generators miss during HA would cost you quite a bit of value.

Edit - I'm a little shocked no one mentioned that I completely left out Vengeance. That's going in now.

#8 basylle

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:51 PM

Your discussion of CTC is slightly flawed. Block now uses a two roll system (unless this changed again and I missed it.) So using your second set of numbers, the chance to hit actually looks more like:

1-5 Miss
6-20 Parry
21-35 Dodge
36-100 Second Roll:
1-25 Block
26-100 Hit

#9 Wrathblood

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:56 PM

Thanks, yeah. I just now eliminated almost that entire section. Its really only in for historical reference purposes and I realized there was no point in dedicating that much space to something no longer really relevant.

#10 Theck

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:12 PM

Just PMed you a few more corrections Wrathblood.

Also, I threw together a spreadsheet that calculates dodge/parry balance and TDR stat weights:
https://docs.google....RESkVXb0E#gid=1

This should let people play around with their gear some to see exactly how their individual stat weights come out, since they're so volatile.

<edit> also, here's a macro for dodge/parry balancing:
/run ChatFrame1:AddMessage(format("Ideal pre-dr parry/dodge ratio: 3.597, yours is %.3f%%, if too high reforge more parry to dodge",(GetParryChance()-3.67)/(GetDodgeChance()-5.01)))


#11 Wrathblood

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:21 PM

Fantastic. Thank you, Theck.

Quite a few more changes put in, with some new sections added, others pruned away and lists of things like Glyphs alphabetized. I'm still holding off on discussing synergistic effects because my opinions on it are evolving rapidly. Might give it a few more days before starting in on it, because it might be the most important part.

#12 Lowtec

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:27 PM

Thank you greatly for the effort. Much appreciated.

A small addition to macros:

#showtooltip Rebuke
/cast [target=focus, exists[I], harm[/I]] Rebuke; Rebuke;

For personal use I added ", harm" inside the brackets. I tend to often have my co-tank as a focus target to see debuffs and the likes so this helps in those cases.

#13 jiffypop

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 02:07 AM

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to discuss this as its the first post I've made on this forum but, for MoP I'd like to be a lot more theorycraft based instead of playing fast and loose like I did in cata. It seems like with the large nerf to SoR damage that the overall DPS of prot has dropped a lot at 85.

I've decided its likely one of three things.

1. Playing an 85 with level 90 cap, the level 90 talent obviously will be used in the rotation and will likely provide more DPS possibly putting it back to scale
2. I went with the OP's advice and stacked parry > dodge over hit/exp so I'm not hit/exp capped. The misses from this may be contributing to a lower overall DPS
3. SoR got nerfed too hard, and we must merely pray that it gets buffed back up in 5.1

I know the purpose of this forum isn't to hold your hand but, I feel like I'm following the material presented here to a T and still suffering in the DPS department. I'll see if I can get a WoL later this week and post in the appropriate topic. However, in the mean time, did anyone else take a major hit in prot paladin DPS?

#14 Wrathblood

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 04:34 AM

I think I'm caught up on the corrections folks have passed onto me, and hopefully tomorrow I'll start on the synergies part. Additionally, after having seen some logs of live results and settled some issues in my own mind, I'm going to start being a little more proscriptive in recommendations. Example Spoiler: You really should spec into Sacred Shield.

Additionally, I've been seeing questions about tanking dps quite a bit lately and I'm going to add some comments to the Rotation section to address it. Bonus Spoiler: It all comes down to Vengeance.

#15 Fairgrim

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 04:32 PM

This may be unimportant but [Hand of Reckoning] is now just [Reckoning] since its not a "Hand" spell and [Clemency] talent that improves "Hand"s doesn't affect it.

Also if you choose [Sanctified Wrath] while having [Glyph of Avenging Wrath] the 15% of max hit points returned may be a gain that works well with the 20% better self heals and 20% more incoming heals over the new 30 second duration.

#16 Ronark

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:59 PM

This may be unimportant but [Hand of Reckoning] is now just [Reckoning] since its not a "Hand" spell and [Clemency] talent that improves "Hand"s doesn't affect it.

Also if you choose [Sanctified Wrath] while having [Glyph of Avenging Wrath] the 15% of max hit points returned may be a gain that works well with the 20% better self heals and 20% more incoming heals over the new 30 second duration.


That's assuming Hit capped, in which case you could go with HA for an additional output if using soley WoG for its duration.

#17 Wrathblood

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 06:25 PM

Good point on Reckoning not being a hand spell. I'll update that. The interaction between SW and the Glyph of Avenging Wrath is a synergy point that I'm still getting my arms around.

An interesting point Midnight just pointed out to me is that contrary to what I'd posted, HotR needs to actually *hit* for the Weakened Blows debuff to work. The debuff lasts 30 seconds so even with occasional misses, maintaining it shouldn't be too onerous (and its not like the alternative, CS, hits very hard right now) but with a 4.5 second cooldown, I could see this being an issue at the start of a fight. On the pull, with no hit or exp, you've got a 22.5% chance of HotR missing (resulting in 4.5 seconds of no debuff), a 4-5% chance of it missing twice in a row (and 9 seconds of no debuff), and a ~1% chance of three straight misses (13.5 seconds). This should marginally increase the value of hit and expertise.

#18 Ronark

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 06:43 PM

Good point on Reckoning not being a hand spell. I'll update that. The interaction between SW and the Glyph of Avenging Wrath is a synergy point that I'm still getting my arms around.

An interesting point Midnight just pointed out to me is that contrary to what I'd posted, HotR needs to actually *hit* for the Weakened Blows debuff to work. The debuff lasts 30 seconds so even with occasional misses, maintaining it shouldn't be too onerous (and its not like the alternative, CS, hits very hard right now) but with a 4.5 second cooldown, I could see this being an issue at the start of a fight. On the pull, with no hit or exp, you've got a 22.5% chance of HotR missing (resulting in 4.5 seconds of no debuff), a 4-5% chance of it missing twice in a row (and 9 seconds of no debuff), and a ~1% chance of three straight misses (13.5 seconds). This should marginally increase the value of hit and expertise.


It depends on your raid comp. If you have a Ret in the raid, have them use HotR to open with. Alternately, have your Resto Shamans use Earth Shock, or a DK/Warrior use their respective abilities since neither one can be block/parried/dodged.

#19 Wrathblood

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 08:06 PM

Hmm, that's an option since DPS appear to be able to apply it as well, and they're a lot more likely to be hit/exp capped (as well as standing behind the target) making them more reliable on the initial application. The tank could then take over reapplying it over the course of the fight.

Low hit/exp would have the downside of forcing the tank to use HotR more often. You wouldn't want the debuff to fall off, so instead of refreshing at or just before expiration, you'd want to swap HotR for CS during the usage before that, giving you a second attempt in case you miss with the first one. In a sense, you shorten the effective duration of HotR by 3 or more GCDs (depending on how conservative you wanted to be) by not being block/exp capped. Assuming HotR isn't glyphed, the shorter duration would roughly force you to trade a CS for a HotR once/minute. At 85, in my gear, they both hit like wet noodles and that swap would cost roughly 100 dps over and above the dps loss from not being hit/exp capped. Doesn't seem like an especially steep price to pay.

#20 Theck

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:00 PM

The interaction between SW and the Glyph of Avenging Wrath is a synergy point that I'm still getting my arms around.

There's not much to get around. It's very weak. 1.2% of your max health every 2 seconds isn't all that different from 1% of your max health every 2 seconds. Glyph of Avenging Wrath isn't enough to turn AW into a survivability cooldown (beyond what you already get via larger WoG potential).


Regarding HotR, the difference in damage between CS and HotR is small enough that it's not a huge loss to use it one attack early. This is also the reason that Glyph of HotR is such a weak DPS increase - CS/HotR make up so little of our DPS that swapping them once in a while doesn't matter much.

I have preliminary numbers up for L90 in my MATLAB thread, but I haven't gotten around to doing full write-ups yet. I'll probably get to that this weekend.

Also, I ran some tests on live today to confirm a few things:
1) Harsh Words was nerfed. It's now doing 76.91% of the healing as damage, not 100%. This narrows the margin quite a bit; Harsh Words is a much smaller DPS increase over SotR while off-tanking now (~500 DPS), and a DPS loss while tanking if you're using Alabaster Shield.

Our best DPS glyphs are now, in order, Alabaster Shield > Final Wrath (during execute) > Focused Shield. For encounter-averaged DPS, Final Wrath falls back to a distant third. GoHotR is 100-200 DPS depending on Vengeance.

2) Eternal Flame (either part) does not benefit from the 5% healing bonus from SoI.

3) Eternal Flame (HoT) still does not benefit from Bastion of Glory.




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