Thursday, October 9, 2008

Preparing Your Tankadin for Patch 3.0: Part 4: New Toys

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 Tanks10/14 - PATCH DAY!

So let's look at what new goodies Blizzardclaus has under the Patch 3.0 tree.

Hammer of the Righteous - This is your new 51 point talent in the Protection tree. What this does is hit the current target and 2 additional targets for 4 times your main hand damage per second as Holy damage. This spell is on a 6 second cooldown and has a fairly low mana cost. As an added bonus, it is usable while you are silenced. The damage done is based on Weapon DPS and your Attack Power.

It is designed to allow Protection Paladins to use actual Tank weapons like King's Defender, Suneater, Mallet of the Tides, Brutalizer, and Unbreakable Will. Those weapons will do comparable TPS to a spell damage blade. We will go into more detail on this on Saturday.

This spell also increases our DPS while out soloing and works well when fighting multiple mobs. It procs your seal on each of the 3 targets it hits, so you can have 3 stacks of Vengeance cooking at one time.

Touched by the Light - This increases your spell power by an amount equal to up to 30% of your stamina and increases the amount healed by your critical heals by up to 30%.

One of the goals in Patch 3.0 and eventually in Wrath of the Lich King is to move Protection Paladins, Protection Warriors and Death Knights to all desire similar gear. This talent is a major step in that direction.

Spell Damage is rather useless to Warriors and is the stat that lets you know if a piece is meant for Paladins or not. With Touched by the Light, we won't need Spell Damage on our gear anymore and can gladly take what had heretofore been called "Warrior" Plate.

This talent is even more reason to go after Tank weapons and let the Mages and Locks stop worrying about Protection Paladins wanting to 'steal' their weapon.

Also, don't overlook the backend of this talent. Increasing out Critical heals by up to 30% helps out while soloing, and also helps out if we find ourselves in a healing position while not tanking. Holy Paladin gear tends to favor crit and this talent can help make up for some of the lack of potency a Prot Paladin normally has in his heals.

Judgment of the Just - What this does is cause the Paladin's Judgment spells to decrease the melee attack speed of the affected target by 20%. Can you think of any other spell or ability in the game that does that? Yes, Thunderclap! This is basically the Paladin version of Thunderclap which is a needed and noticeable reduction in the damage tanks take. This has caused some to call this talent ThunderJudge.

Since Thunderclap and ThunderJudge won't stack, the Thunderclap debuff can now be provided by a Protection Paladin, so there is little need for DPS Warriors to worry about it, or for Protection Warriors to spend their limited Rage on it.

Also, it has zero impact on the Paladin to provide this debuff. Since the debuff is applied as part of our Judgement, it's something that is already in our normal rotation. It's similar to when Blizzard gave Arcane shot a Dispel mechanic. Hunter's didn't even have to think about, it came naturally as part of what they were already doing.

Guarded by the Light - What this new talent does is reduce spell damage taken by 3/6% and reduces the mana cost of your Holy Shield, Avenger's Shield and Shield of Righteousness spells by 15/30%. Basically Blizzard took our old Spell Warding talent and added a cherry on top of it in the form of mana reduction cost.

You will note the talent mentions Shield of Righteousness. This is technically a new spell, but it's one Paladin's don't get until Level 75. Since my scope here is 3.0, I won't go into detail on it. However, Shield of Righteousness is a very good reason to maintain your Block Value set as you level up.

Shield of the Templar - I love threat and mitigation in one talent. What this bad boy does is increase the damage dealt from your Avenger's Shield, Holy Shield and Shield of Righteousness by up to 30%. In addition, it will reduce all damage taken by up to 3%.

The 3% Damage Reduction is not currently in Beta, but it has been communicated that it is coming via Blizzard on the Beta forums. I'm not sure if it will make the patch or not.

This to me was one of the most important talents added in Patch 3.0.

We've long known that our 6% Damage Reduction (DR) from Improved Righteous Fury was far behind Defensive Stance with 10% DR. The issue was that Improved Righteous Fury was low enough in the Protection Tree for Retribution Paladins to pick up, and in fact a popular Retribution Build was 0/20/41 for just that reason.

Defensive Stance is available to all Warriors, but when that Arms Warrior drops into Defensive Stance, he loses the ability to do many of his higher DPS moves and the Stance itself causes him to do 10% less damage.

The Retribution Paladin has no such penalties for activating Righteous Fury. So for Righteous Fury to catch up to Defensive Stance, the added Damage Reduction had to be deeper in the tree.

This talent was a big step towards Tank Class Parity.

Then as an added benefit, Blizzard gave it a Threat increase component as well.

Divine Guardian - This talent represents a unique tool in the Paladin tool kit. What happens is that 30% of damage taken by party and raid members within 30 yards is redirected to the paladins instead while Divine Shield is active. The damage dealt to the paladin is absorbed by Divine Shield.

When I saw this talent I immediately thought of High Warlord Najentus. He does an attack that hits the entire raid for 8500. With Divine Guardian up, the raid members within 30 yards of the Paladin would take less than 6000.

This gives Protection Paladins a wonderful utility when offtanking. Because Divine Shield makes you immune, the Boss or Mob will turn away from you while you under the Shield, so it's probably not the best idea to use this as a Main Tank.

The talent is shallow enough in the tree that a Holy Paladin could get it as well, though most observers think Holy Paladins will be looking into the Retribution tree for the 5% Spell Crit.

Here are a couple of sample builds based on the Patch 3.0 Talent trees.

I'm Still Raid Tanking: 0/55/6

I took Deflection over Benediction and I didn't take Guarded by the light. My thinking here is that mana has not been a huge issue, and I generally don't take Spell Warding in my current spec.

Passing The Days To Wrath Tanking 5 mans / 10 mans: 0/55/6

Swapped into Benediction and Guarded by the Light. Dropped Judgement of the Just.

In either spec, you could make a case for dropping Improved Devotion Aura and finishing up Divine Strength.
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