Wednesday, July 29, 2009

[Patch 3.2] Tankadin Talent Spec

It’s beginning to look like 3.2 is stabilizing and we’ll soon be on the Live servers. My HonorsCode guarantee* is that that Patch will drop on August 11th, 2009.

If you aren’t up to speed on the new changes coming, I recommend Rhidach’s excellent write up “Tanks, What 3.2 Means to You.”

In 3.2, Paladins have to make some difficult choices in our talent spec balancing Threat, Survivability and Utility.

I’m going to do this a little bit like a college major. You have your core, required courses, and your electives.

First I’m going to layout what I feel is the core Tankadin build. These are talents you should have in your build regardless of what situation you find yourself in. You aren’t getting your Tanking diploma from this dwarf without them.

You will note that the core build is impossible without picking up some of the elective talents. We’ll talk about those choices in a bit.

You Gotta Start Somewhere

I don’t consider Divine Strength to be a ‘core’ talent, but you have to pick something at Tier 1 to get higher in the tree and Divine Strength is superior to Divinity. I’m not a fan of Protection Paladins taking Divinity. It’s not the size of the heal that matters most in a life or death situation, but the timing of the heal.

The Core

Core: Anticipation, Toughness, Improved Righteous Fury, Improved Devotion Aura, , Sacred Duty, Holy Shield, 1 Hand Weapon Specialzation (Strongest Threat per point talent), 1/2 Spiritual Attunement, Ardent Defender, Combat Expertise (more for the Stamina than the Expertise), Avenger’s Shield, Guarded By the Light, Touched the By Light (next strongest Threat per point after 1 Hand Weapon Specialization), Shield of the Templar, Judgments of the Just, Hammer of the Righteous, Deflection, 1/2 Improved Judgments, Vindication

Prerequisites: Blessing of Sanctuary

3 fillers

The core build will give you 22 points in Protection. You will need 3 elective points to get to Tier 6. Your choices are Divinity, Divine Sacrifice/Divine Guardian, Divine Sacrifice/Improved Hammer of Justice, or 3/5 Reckoning.

I covered Divinity above, so let’s get into the other options.

Divine Sacrifice/Divine Guardian gives you some excellent utility, but the recent bug fix that allows you to only have one Sacred Shield on you really kills it for me. On Live, you can stack your Sacred Shield with your Healers, but you won’t be able to do that in 3.2. However, if you find yourself as an Offtank on fights like XT, Iron Council, Kologarn, etc. Divine Sacrifice is a really nice utility talent that really take some stress off the healing team.

I’ve had the Divine Sacrifice/Improved Hammer of Justice for weeks in Ulduar. Hammer of Justice just won’t cut it as an Interrupt until it’s off the Global Cooldown, and even at 20 seconds, the cooldown is a bit long to be considered a reliable interrupt.

Warriors Shield Bash is on a 12 second cooldown, plus they have Charge/Intercept, Concussion Blow and Shockwave. Mind Freeze for Death Knights is a 10 second Cooldown. Both Shield Bash and Mind Freeze are off the global cooldown. Druids are the only class worse off; Bears only have Bash which is a 1 minute cooldown interrupt.

If there’s a mob to be interrupted and you can’t have a melee dps do it, you should have another tank class on it rather than a Paladin/Druid.

You will most likely see me with Reckoning. It plays very favorably with the new Seal of Vengeance mechanics. I’ve always been a fan of Reckoning all the way back to one shotting Kazzak, and I’m glad to see it make its way back into my build.

More To Fill

The next place in the core build where you have to consider an elective is at 38 points in Protection. Your choices from the 22 point break will still be there, and you have the added choice of Redoubt.

I don’t consider Redoubt a core talent. I pretty much ignore the proc. It’s not something you can count on and it’s completely wasted in Block Cap gear. I know we bang on Block Value, but you have to take that in context. Comparing Block Value on gear versus Avoidance, Avoidance is going to win that one pretty easily. With Redoubt, we aren’t making that comparison. This is essentially ‘free Block Value’. So while I don’t see Redoubt as ‘core’ to the build, it’s my recommendation at the sticking point of 38 points in Protection.


You get another sticking point with 6 in Ret. You need another 4 points in Ret to get to Tier 3 for the new Vindication, which I feel is now a Core Tanking Talent. I understand it can be provided by others in the Raid. However, the Tankadin has the least cumbersome way of applying, and I like to be self sufficient. Plus, DPS may be on a different target than you are on.

And because I like to self sufficient, I put points in Heart of the Crusader and put a ‘wasted’ point to fill out Improved Judgment, or Benediction, neither is going to do a while lot for you. You may also want to consider Improved Blessing of Might depending on your raid make up.

The Final Points

You’ve 6 points left over at this point. Your choice is do you want to go for Crusade? Seals of the Pure interacts well with the Seal of Vengeance/Corruption buff. It now beats out Crusade, if you are fighting something that doesn’t get the double bonus from Crusade. If you are fighting Humanoids, Demons, Undead or Elementals, Crusade still wins for threat.

Crusade loses for just about everything in Ulduar save Yogg. It’s all mechanicals and giants. It loses out on the first boss of the Coliseum which is a Beast. It wins for everything else in the Coliseum. Most people tend to think it will win in Ice Crown Citadel because that place should be crawling with Humanoids and Undead.

I tend to advocate specing for the current progression Boss. That means that for the first week of 3.2, I’ll have a Seals of the Pure build, but as soon as the second week comes out, I’ll be on a Crusade Build.

For the Seals of the Pure build, you put 5 points into Seals of the Pure and 1 point wherever you like. For me I will probably put that into Conviction.

For a Crusade build, you either put 3 points into Conviction or 1 Conviction, and 2 into Pursuit of Justice. PoJ is argued on the MainTankadin boards with near religious fervor. I'm not going to get into that here. If you feel PoJ is crucial to your build, you'll take it.

There you go, all your points spent. Now go enjoy your new cooldown.

HonorsCode guarantee is All Predictions Are Wrong, Or Your Money Back. Since HonorsCode is actually free, if I ever got one right, I’d owe you…well you get the idea.


Anonymous said...

FYI: Seals of the pure doesn't apply to the 33% weapon damage on So[V|C]. It only gives as much threat/damage as it does in 3.1, no more.

Reckoning is better in 3.2 than in 3.1 but still overall loses to crusade. Its not as big of a difference, though, so if you just like the reckoning mechanics you're probably not losing much by choosing it.

Honors Code said...

Your statements are simply inaccurate. shows that for non DUH mobs (Demon Undead Human) 5 SotP, 3 Reck and 3 Conviction is the most threat you can get out of your build.

Refractor said...

Money, please... =)