- 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 Cata to MoP (4.3 to 5.0) 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 it's single target
- Any piece of plate with STR and no Crit is tanking gear
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.
AD Ardent Defender
AP Attack Power
AS Avenger Shield
BiS Best in Slot
BoK Blessing of Kings
BoM Blessing of Might
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
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
Prot paladin rotation and survivability now revolve around whatâ€™s called â€œActive Mitigationâ€. 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 â€œfinishersâ€ 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 more you use your "generators" the more you will be able to use your "finishers", and the the more you use your "finishers" the better your survivability will be.
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, scaling up with Mastery. In end-game gear, it will probably reduce damage by 50-60%). The more you use it, the less damage you take, but it depends. If you know a big hit is coming, youâ€™ll want to wait before using ShoR. Additionally, each ShoR cast (if you miss, you still get the defensive buff, but the mob won't take any damage) gives you a stack of Bastion of Light which increases the healing done by your next WoG by 10% (stacking up to 5 times and increasing with Mastery up to +150-200% with 5 stacks in end-game gear).
WoG is still a heal, but its overheal wonâ€™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.
- 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.
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 â€“ 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, itâ€™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 itâ€™s a niche ability for a tank.
Level 75 - Effectiveness Boost
- Holy Avenger â€“ 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 are reasonably closely balanced, but have dramatically different functionality. Picking the one best suited for your situation and playstyle is recommended. Execution Sentence is probably the easiest to use optimally.
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 whenever you spam ShoR.
- 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 its useless in any other situation
- 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.
- At level 90, take whichever fits best with the mechanics you expected to face and your playstyle.
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 â€œprimaryâ€ 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)
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. After accounting for Kings, STR provides very slightly less Parry rating than Parry itself does..
Level 90 - 1% Parry requires 952 STR (before DR)
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.
Terrible stat. Avoid.
Agility no longer provides armor and only an extremely minimal amount of 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.
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 90 - 1% Dodge requires 885 Dodge rating (before DR)
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 90 - 1% Parry requires 885 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. 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))) "
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) and is an extremely important stat for both offensive and defensive reasons. While threat is generally not be a problem, tanks should now be contributing significantly to raid dps and Hit is very valuable for this. Defensively, 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 and Hit is the best stat for making that happen.
Best practices for raid tanking, both in terms of maximizing survivability and dps, is to cap Hit (2550 rating, not counting racial).
Level 90 â€“ 1% requires 340 Hit rating (not counting racial)
A valuable stat that helps both our physical and spell attacks successfully hit. 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 at 7.5% instead of 8%. Works like Hit except instead of reducing our chance of Missing, it reduces an enemyâ€™s chance of Dodging or Parrying our attacks. Up to 7.5% Expertise will reduce and, at 7.5% (which is called "Soft Capping"), completely eliminate the chance of Boss Dodge AND Spell Miss (assuming you're also at 7.5% Hit). Above 7.5% it will reduce and, at 15% (which is called "Hard Capping"), eliminate Boss Parry. In Cata and before, each point of Expertise would reduce both Dodge and Parry at the same time. This is no longer true.
Best practices in Paladin tanking, for both maximizing survivability and dps is to stack Expertise to "hard cap" or 15% to completely eliminate Boss Dodge and Parry. This requires 5100 Expertise rating (not counting racial).
Level 90 â€“ 1% expertise requires 340 Expertise rating (not counting racial)
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 90 - 1% Haste requires 425 Haste 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 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 improves your chance of blocking unavoided attacks, reduces 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 increase block percentage (with very few exceptions).
Level 90 â€“ 1% increased block, damage reduction and increased WoG heal requires 600 Mastery rating
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 (remember that this is unmitigated damage, so before armor, blocking, etc. Expect to get, very roughly, 5% of the damage you actually take as AP). There is currently no cap, so if there are situations in which you can engineer taking gigantic amounts of damage and survive (using AD, or a mechanic than increases your health and damage taken like on Baleroc back in Cata) you can do ridiculous 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 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 â€œHitâ€ entirely off the combat table, making â€œBlockâ€ 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:
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.
If, and only if, Roll 1 was a "Hit", then we go to Roll 2.
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=
I used to use this space to talk about the different stats and how they worked to explain the different potential gearing strategies I saw as being available. As theorycrafting has moved forward (thanks, Theck! Damage Smoothing Follow-Up | Sacred Duty) , I've realized that tank gearing is more straightforward than I'd previously thought. As a result, there are no longer multiple "strategies" to choose between. Instead, there's a single strategy to follow, with some choice between stats depending on the specific pieces you are choosing between and different situations.
Hit (to cap) > Expertise (to hard cap) > Mastery = Haste > Avoidance
This is your prioritization table. While Avoidance is last, once Hit and Exp are capped it is much closer in value than we had previously thought. If you are currently using a piece of gear with two good stats (Hit/Exp/Mastery/Haste) and get a piece of gear half a tier higher with an Avoidance stat, Avoidance is useful enough that the new gear is still an upgrade (though you should still reforge the Avoidance to something better).
- Hit is our best stat for both DPS and Survivability because nothing beats it for steady HoPo generation (for survivability) or for making all our attacks land (for DPS).
- Expertise is our next best stat. It does everything Hit does, except it does not affect J, making it a little worse but still better than everything else.
- Mastery vs Haste, the only real decision. You can pick one or the other, or take some of each. Mastery is very slightly better at reducing damage taken and really shines in tank swaps, while Haste will significantly improve your DPS done. They are equally good at smoothing damage taken which is what matters most.
- Avoidance, once you've capped Hit and Exp, isn't as bad as we had thought. Its biggest weakness was spikey damage taken, but capping Hit and Exp fixes most of that. It is between Haste and Mastery in terms of reducing damage taken but has no particular benefit like Haste or Mastery, and instead has very slightly more variability in damage taken which is why it is a step down.
- Mixing and matching Avoidance and Mitigation stats used to be considered a no-no because they tend to reduce each other's value. This is still true, but its a relatively minor issue at current gear levels and is covered by the concept of "Avoidance isn't that bad, but is worse than the other stats".
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.
*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.
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 only. 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.
What does this all mean in terms of actually gearing your character? This part used to be more complicated, but the state of Theorycrafting has advanced and things have gotten simpler. There aren't really separate strategies anymore, though you do still have some options in prioritization.
So, first, there's the part that's mandatory:
- Reach Hit cap (2550 Hit rating)
- Reach Expertise hard cap (5100 Expertise rating)
Yes, you need to reach them now. Yes, its possible to do so in reasonably good pre-raid gear (ilevel 460, minimum to qualify for entry LFR) with aggressive gemming, enchanting, reforging.
Tank stats do three things: reduce damage taken, smooth incoming damage, and increase our dps done.
Reducing damage done gets all the glory, but its actually not that important. Sure, different stats reduce damage taken by different amounts, but the difference between the best ones (Parry) and the worst ones (Expertise) is relatively small in the grand scheme of things. A tank who is stacking the best stats will take, at most, 7-9% less melee damage than the one stacking the worst stats. This is nice, but generally sustained melee damage isn't what kills tanks so modestly reducing sustained damage is only a modest win.
Spike damage is typically what kills tanks and drains healer mana. Different tank stats vary quite substantially in how much they help with spike damage. Avoidance, for example, helps very little with spike damage, while Hit and Expertise are *AMAZING* at helping with spike damage.
As you stack Hit and Exp, not only do you increase % of the time you have ShoR up, even better, your reduce the chance of having "bad luck" stretches that leave you without ShoR for long periods of time. With capped Hit and hard capped Exp, with a perfect rotation on a Patchwerk fight, you will never go more than 4.5 seconds without having ShoR up. This means the boss simply cannot land more than about 3 full-power hits in a row.
With no Hit or Exp, however, you have almost a 50/50 chance of having a HoPo generator Miss/Parry/Dodged resulting in a 9+ second period of time without ShoR up every 30 seconds or so. During a 9 second gap the boss could land as many as 6 full power hits, resulting in far more spike damage. This is a HUGE difference in terms of keeping tanks alive.
The key is that each HoPo generator that fails to land, depending on where you are in your rotation, will push out your next ShoR by 1 to 3 GCDs, creating a longer period of vulnerability during which you take more damage. The longer the period is, the harder the boss could potentially burst you. Eliminating Misses/Dodges/Parrys by capping out Hit and Exp creates reliable HoPo generation and is the single best thing you can do for improving your survivability.
Tank gear for prot pallies is any piece of STR plate which does not have Crit. Expect loot arguments with plate DPS. 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 can be more productive than before. Additionally, the Mitigation stats (other than Mastery) will improve 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.
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. Remember to set it to level 90. https://docs.google....RESkVXb0E#gid=2
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.
Several abilities were removed from Protâ€™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, any level 85 or higher Paladin is allowed to â€œbankâ€ up to 5 HoPo at a time.
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.
[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] â€“ 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.
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] â€“ 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 ccâ€™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] â€“ 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] â€“ 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] â€“ 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] â€“ Hard hitting â€œexecuteâ€ 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] â€“ Medium to soft hitting â€œMeteor-styleâ€ 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] â€“ 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). Currently there is a bug in which the final shield renew does not occur but it will apparently be fixed soon. Absorb is 30+117%SP at level 90, refreshed every 5 seconds.
[Shield of the Righteous] â€“ Used to be our principle single target attack, now itâ€™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, at level 90 inflicts 617+108%SP holy damage.
[Word of Glory] â€“ 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, at level 90 heals for 4030+37.7%SP per HoPo used.
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:
â€¢ Use cooldowns before you take damage. If you use GoAK at 400k HP, the cooldown is effectively adding 400k 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 youâ€™re at low HP makes them less effective.
â€¢ 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. Itâ€™s a balancing act.
â€¢ 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] â€“ 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 â€œbig hitâ€ boss abilities (such as Impale from Heroic Madness in DS) are able to negate the â€œsave deathâ€ 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] â€“ 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] â€“ Divine Guardian and Holyâ€™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. Doesnâ€™t affect physical damage, but most raid damage is magical anyway. 6 second duration, 3 minute cd.
[Divine Protection] â€“ 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] â€“ Makes the Paladin temporarily invulnerable but also reduces damage done by 50% and removes the tank from the bossâ€™s aggro table. Many â€œbig hitâ€ boss abilities are able to penetrate DS (Impales from Heroic Madness from DS back in Cata 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.
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.
[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] â€“ Now increases party and raid membersâ€™ STR, AGIL and INT by 5%. Does not increase STA or Spirit.
[Blessing of Might] â€“ Now increases party and raid membersâ€™ Mastery by an amount that scales with level.
Level 90 - 3000 Mastery
=Mechanics & Rotation=
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 and using cooldowns on the pull can help a lot.
Threat can be questionable. The initial pull burst from DP-Wings-J-ShoR that we were able to rely on for most of Cata can't be done anymore and nothing hits as hard as ShoR used to. So while our sustained dps is better than it was for most of Cata 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.
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.
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.
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 Retâ€™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.
CS - Filler â€“ Filler â€“ CS â€“ Filler â€“ Filler â€“ CS â€“ Filler â€“ 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 youâ€™re past the pull, incorporating the priorities into the basic queue gives us something that looks like:
CS â€“ J - AS â€“ CS â€“ L90 â€“ J â€“ CS â€“ Cons - HW (and so on)
Though it wonâ€™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 arenâ€™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, thatâ€™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, youâ€™ll make kittens cry.
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.
We no longer have Inquisition, so donâ€™t worry about trying to use it. Things donâ€™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 â€“ Filler â€“ HotR â€“ Filler â€“ Filler â€“ HotR â€“ Filler â€“ 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 â€“ J - Cons â€“ HotR â€“ J â€“ AS - HotR â€“ 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.
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 prioritize HotR over J, but that would make it a pretty bad time to use AW. Do what you've gotta do.
This is just like the Stat priority from the Reforging section, except that STR is included as well even though you can't reforge into it. Note that Armor does not seem to be available as an enchant this Expansion. Current signs are that it is not.
Hit (to cap 2550) > Expertise (to hard cap 5100) > Mastery = Haste > STR > Avoidance
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.
*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.
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.
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.
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 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 selection of choices for the head slot for early tanking are pretty bad), 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 isnâ€™t a great tanking stat for us and Dodgeâ€™s DR makes sharp gains like this particularly inefficient.
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 getting a big chunk like this is likely to make it less efficiently used and the heal is too small to be of use in a raid.
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 (thatâ€™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 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.
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 though at a loss of 170 Mastery. 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.
[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.
Provides [Master of Anatomy] which gives 480 Crit. Crit provides zero defensive value making this one of the least optimal professions for us.
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.
=Glyphs, Enchants, Gems and Consumables=
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.
A few things worth noting are::
- The damage increase from Alabaster Shield looks pretty good, not because its great, but because the other Glyphs are so situational. I think it works out to something like a 2% overall dps increase, even single target, which dwarfs the value of anything else. In a situation where you're tanking multiple mobs allowing it to stack quickly, it can increase its value quite a bit.
- Glyphing Consecration takes some getting used to (suddenly you have to target Consecration) but can be extremely useful in 5-mans.
- Glyph of Final Wrath makes Holy Wrath hit, single target, about as hard as HoW during execute phasess. In a fight where the last 20% is important, this might be nice.
- Glyphing Divine Protection isn't as much of a no-brainer as you might think. ShoR should be up quite a bit, and in any situation where you've got enough warning to use DP, you should be able to have ShoR up. Having both up significantly reduces the value of DP against physical damage (-20% when you're already enjoying -40% isn't as big a deal). ShoR does nothing against Magic damage so having -40% available on a fairly short CD might be handy.
[Glyph of Alabaster Shield] â€“ Successful blocks increase the damage of ShoR by 20%, stacking up to 3 times.
[Glyph of Avenging Wrath] â€“ 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] â€“ Melee attacks with Seal of Insight heal a nearby (within 30 yards) wounded ally for 30% of damage done. Extremely powerful if you are using SoI and have anyone friendly close by.
[Glyph of Consecration] â€“ Consecration can now be targeted anywhere within 25 yards of the Paladin. Fantastic for 5-mans and trash pick-up.
[Glyph of Dazing Shield] â€“ Avengerâ€™s Shield now dazes targets for 10 seconds
[Glyph of Divine Protection] â€“ Itâ€™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 itâ€™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] â€“ Holy Wrath does +50% damage against targets with less than 20% health
[Glyph of Focused Shield] â€“ Avenger Shield now hits 2 fewer targets and hits 30% harder. Good for single target
[Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous] â€“ Causes the damage reduction debuff from HotR to last 50% longer. Useful quality of life.
[Glyph of Harsh Words] â€“ 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] â€“ 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] â€“ Seal of Truth damage increased by 30%, but Censure damage reduced by 50%. Itâ€™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 doesnâ€™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 glyphs are mostly cosmetic only. The only ones that have an actual effect are:
[Glyph of the Falling Avenger] â€“ Casting Avenging Wrath also affects you with Slow Fall
[Glyph of Focused Wrath] â€“ 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] â€“ Mounting a paladin class mount auto-casts Blessing of Kings on you
[Glyph of Righteous Retreat] â€“ 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.
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.
Head â€“ 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 â€“ Greater Protection] - +200 STA
Chest [Enchant Chest â€“ Superior Stamina] - +300 STA
Wrist [Enchant Bracer â€“ Dodge] - +170 Mastery, LWs will use [Fur Lining â€“ Stamina] and BSs will socket for another gem. +170 Dodge is also available but is inferior to Mastery
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 â€“ Pandarenâ€™s Step] - Multiple good options. +140 Mastery and increased run speed, +175 Hit and +175 Haste are roughly comparable in value (though if you took PoJ Mastery will be a little worse since the runspeed doesn't stack) so go with whatever fits best for you
[Enchant Weapon â€“ Riverâ€™s Song] â€“ 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). Currently appears to be averaging in the neighborhood of 40-45% uptime for Prot pallies, making the enchant worth perhaps 700-800 Dodge. With the change to Windsong's proc system, a change to River's Song proc rate is likely so we'll need to watch this.
[Enchant Weapon - Colossus] â€“ 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) . Bad choice. Does not scale enough to be useful nor does it proc frequently enough to make up for the weakness of the procs. Needs a buff to be worth using.
[Enchant Weapon â€“ Windsong] â€“ 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. Over the course of a long fight, will average out to being worth roughly +200 Mastery, Haste and Crit but there will be significant variability (*real* 2 ppm, chance of procing on all non-periodic damage or healing of any kind. When it procs, has an equal chance of activating one of the three buffs. 1 second cd)
[Enchant Weapon - Dancing Steel] - your melee attacks can proc a 1750 STR buff (unless you've been stacking AGIL for some strange reason in which case you could get AGIL) lasting 12 seconds (2 ppm, chance of procing on melee attacks that hit or are dodged, but not missed or parried, no cd). Uptime looks like it could be 60+% making the enchant roughly worth +1000 STR on average, making it our winner. As with River's Song, watch for changes in proc mechanics.
Dancing Steel > Riverâ€™s Song >> Windsong >>> Colossus,
Dancing Steel >> Riverâ€™s Song >> Colossus > Windsong
Shield [Enchant Shield â€“ Greater Parry] - +170 Parry
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 wasnâ€™t that bad in Cata.
[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
I believe their alphabetical order will also be the order of their usefulness.
[Fractured Sunâ€™s Radiance] - +240 Mastery (Counts as a Yellow gem)
[Solid Riverâ€™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)
[Fine Vermilion Onyx] - +160 Parry Rating and +160 Mastery Rating (Counts as a Red or Yellow gem)
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.
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.
Prot Pallies have four non-feast food options. The first three are probably, with proper planning and itemization, superior to any feast (though whether they're enough better to make up for the cost is up to you and your raid) and the fourth could be superior as well depending on your situation
[Chun Tian Spring Rolls] - +450 Stamina
[Spicy Vegetable Chips] - +300 Expertise
[Spicy Salmon] - +300 Hit
[Black Pepper Ribs and Shrimp] - +300 Strength
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 arenâ€™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
[Potion of Mogu Power] - +4000 STR for 25 seconds, on the pull or during burn phases when tank dps is crucial.
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)
[Monkâ€™s Elixir] - +750 Mastery rating (Battle Elixir)
[Elixir of Mirrors] - +750 Dodge rating (Guardian Elixir)
[Mantid Elixir] - +2250 Armor (Guardian Elixir)
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 Winterâ€™s Bite] - +1000 Strength
[Flask of the Earth] - +1500 Stamina
Given current options, either Flask of the Earth for STA or Monkâ€™s + Mirrors Elixirs are likely to be the most attractive options, though Mantid Elixir could be a dark horse.
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
Sacred Shield Macro
/cast [@mouseover,help][help][@player] Sacred Shield
/cast [@mouseover,help][@target,help][@targettarget,exists,help][@player] Cleanse
Hand of Protection Macro
/cast [@mouseover,help][@target,help][@targettarget,help][@player] Hand of Protection
Hand of Salv/Hand of Sacrifice Macro
/cast [mod,@mouseover,help][mod,help] Hand of Salvation; [@mouseover,help][help] Hand of Sacrifice
Interrupt Focus Macro
/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)))
Thanks to Darkside, Malthrin, and emptyrepublic from whom Iâ€™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.
Other excellent sources for information on Prot Pally theorycrafting are:
Theck's Sacred Duty Blog (cutting edge Theck material!) - Sacred Duty | A Protection Paladin Blog
Maintankadin, particularly the Advanced Theorycrafting and Calculations section - Maintankadin • View forum - Advanced Theorycraft and Calculations