10/6 - Part 1: General Tanking
10/7 - Part 2: The New Seal and Judgement System
10/8 - Part 3: Changes to Existing Talents and Spells
10/9 - Part 4: New Talents, and suggested Trees
10/10 - Part 5: The New Threat Rotation or 96969
10/11 - Part 6: Threat Stats for Protection Paladins and Tank Gear Reitemization
10/12 - Part 7: Inscription and Glyphs
10/13 - Part 8: Comparing the 4 Tanks
10/14 - PATCH DAY!
Now I'm going to examine some of the familiar abilities that have been changed in Patch 3.0.
Give Me A Hand
Your utility Blessings: Sacrifice, Freedom, Protection, and Salvation are no longer Blessings, but a new category of spells called Hands. Hands work on the same one per Paladin rule as Blessings, but you can have a Hand buff and a Blessing buff on you at the same time.
On Azgalor, we setup a Blessing of Freedom rotation to help our Tank kite Azgalor from the Tauren Warriors to Thrall. With each Paladin giving our Tank Blessing of Freedom, it meant that he lost whatever Blessing that Paladin had previously been providing him. Now we can give someone (or even ourself) Hand of Freedom and our Blessing of Kings doesn't go away.
Hand of Salvation is a little different from Blessing of Salvation. Hand of Salvation reduces the players total threat by 2% every 1 sec. for 10 sec, or 20% over 10 seconds. It has a 2 minute cooldown so it can not be spammed non stop.
Have you ever had times tanking and you watched a Warlock or Rogue climbing and climbing the threat meter. That's a great time to use Hand of Salvation. Although, to be frank, threat has been a non issue in Beta, and I would assume it's been a non issue on the PTR as well.
A Little Less Defensive
The Protection talent Anticipation was changed so that it now grants 5% dodge, instead of 20 defense. You need to take a look at your Defense right now. If it's not 510, it won't be 490 come patch day. Most people have been able to correct this using a combination of gems and enchants or swapping a couple pieces of gear. It will be hardest on people sporting mostly Badge gear which carriest very little defense.
No, Not My Stamina!
Yes, the stamina scaling on Combat Expertise was reduced. Instead of 10% stamina it now only provides 6%. The Developers felt we were scaling too well as Stamina increased in Wrath gear. It appears from most reports that we are still 'close' to Warriors in general health pool at the new level cap.
For this Paladin, it meant I have about 500 less hp in the same gear.
We Now Interrupt This Broadcast
Hammer of Justice has had an added benefit of an interupt being added to it. At first glace this doesn't seem like a big deal. If a mob is stunned they ain't casting anyway, right. Well a couple of things to consider.
Number one, this works on mobs that can't be stunned. So if you are facing a Priest mob, like in the Fathom Lord encounter, you can interupt her heals. Also, you can be an emergency backup in a fight like Reliquary where a missed Kick can wipe you.
This is also great news for soloing. What's your one bane as a soloing Protection Paladin. The dang Caster mobs. Now we can interupt their cast and lock out their school for 3 seconds, even if they resist the stun. Not bad.
As Paladins level up, they first get a spell called Divine Protection which is like Divine Shield (the infamouse 'Bubble'), but does not permit you to attack. Divine Protection has been changed. Instead of making you Immune, it now reduces damage by 50% for the duration. Knights and Ladies of the Siver Hand, what we have here is none other than Shield Wall.
A New Sanctuary
Blessing of Sanctuary used to be a talent you took because you had to take it to get Holy Shield. Now Blessing of Sanctuary may be one of the best talents in the tree. First of all, it provides 3% addtional damage reduction. In encounters with big raid damage, that can really help out the healers. In addition, Sanctuary provides Rage or Mana everytime you Block, Parry or Dodge. This is an incredible buff for Tanks, especially on content you overgear. I know when I tanked Coren Direbrew for Brewfest I was mana starved constantly. BoSanct really helps out in those situations.
Roll 'em Up
Redoubt was another one of those talents where you would say, 'I have to take this talent I don't really like to get this other talent I do really like'. Some people loved Redoubt, but I was never a fan. Now what you were after was Shield Specialization which increases your Block Value by 30%.
Now Redoubt and Shield Specialization have been combined into a 3 point talent deeper in the tree. As an added bonus, Shield Specialization works on Block Value generated from Strength.
You, sir, have questionable parentage!
Would that really be an effect taunt on Gruul? Maybe, 'I killed all your sons and now I'm here for you big fella'! Let's talk taunt, known in the Paladin world as Righteous Defense. It's cooldown, which I always hated, has been cut nearly in half to 8 seconds.
Now what exactly DO you say to the Monsters when you taunt them?
Lay On Hands had it's cooldown reduced to 20 minutes. It should be up almost every Boss attempt.
Avenger's Shield is now instant cast. If you cast anything with a cast time in combat, you can't block, parry or dodge. That's usually a Bad Thing when fighting a Boss. Avenger's Shield can now be more easily worked into your threat rotation.
Improved Devotion Aura now increaes healing done to everyone affected by the raid wide Aura by 6%, but does not stack with Tree Of Life Aura. That will be pretty cool if you don't have a Tree in the raid, or they have to drop Tree form (which appears from the Comments to be extremely unlikely).