I received the following inquiry while I was away on vacation.
"Is SS worth it for a pally to keep up? Is it a smart choice for a Prot Pally to spec into Divine Guardian (improving Sacred Shield) ? I'm curious as to your take on this.
Further I've heard the absorbtion of Sacred Shield doesn't work if it is a blocked hit. That makes no sense to me but I was curious if you've heard about any correlation or way Sacred Shield and a blocked hit interact. My assumption is that the damage from the blow is first mitigated by the block and then the X amount of damage is absorbed by the shield (provided it is up).
Any light you could shed on this issue would be much appreciated. =D" - apokteino
Let's address this point by point.
Allow me to reword the first question to be a little more precise. Should a Protection Paladin spend a global cooldown every 30 to 60 seconds to keep the Sacred Shield buff on himself?
It all depends on if you have a Holy Paladin assigned to heal you. If you do, you should not have your own Sacred Shield up. In Patch 3.2, the developers fixed what they called a bug that allowed a Paladin to have multiple Sacred Shields. With this fix, you can only have one Sacred Shield on you, and if you have one of our Holy brothers healing you, you want his to be the one that's up. It'll absorb more than yours and it'll let him trigger that sexy Heal over Time he got in Patch 3.2.
Now if you don't run with a Holy Paladin, and I can only imagine that is in 10 and 5 mans, you should absolutely be sacrificing a global cooldown every 30 to 60 seconds to keep Sacred Shield up.
This also helps us answer the question of how good Divine Guardian is. You need to think about how often you are going to run with a Holy Paladin. The more often you run with a Holy Paladin, the less valuable points in Divine Guardian are to you. If you know you will always have a Holy Paladin, you don't want to spec into Divine Guardian.
Let's look at my situation (since I know it the best). I run mainly 5 and 10 mans. We have a fantastic Holy Paladin in our roster for 10 mans, but he's in the raid about 50% of time or less. So it would probably make sense for me to have points in Divine Guardian. If you Armory me, you'll see I currently have my 'flavor' points in Reckoning. That's because right now, the Bosses in Coliseum aren't challenging my surivabiltiy, so I'm going for a little threat. It's also because I'm a fan of Reckoning. It's a fun talent, and a threat boost, albeit a small one.
Now lets look at the question of how Sacred Shield works with Block.
Absorbtion affects, like Sacred Shield, Power Word: Shield, etc, work on a Blocked hit. I run with a Discipline Priest most of the time, so it's possible the absorbtion with a blocked hit is only from his shields, but I find that unlikely.
It actually doesn't matter mathmatically whether the absorb from Sacred Shield comes before or after the damage reduction from Blocking. They are both static reductions.
For instance, let's say your Sacred Shield absorbed for 1000 and you blocked for 2000 and the hit after armor was 10000.
10000 - 1000 - 2000 = 7000
10000 - 2000 - 1000 = 7000
If whichever came first totally negated the attack, the other wouldn't be seen, but anything you can fully block or fully absorb would have to be classified as a trivial mob.
What is interesting is that when Ardent Defender became an absorb effect it actually lost some of its effectiveness.
Prior to 3.2, the 30% damage reduction was applied to the amount before absorbs/blocks.
In 3.2, the 30% damage reduction is applied to the amount after absorbs/blocks.
So, for example, let's say your below 35% health...and get hit for 8k. Lets also assume that you have 2k BV.
Back in 3.1, you would get hit for 8000- (8000*.3) - 2000 = 3600
On live, You will get hit for 8000-2000= 6000 - (6000*.3) = 4200
Effectively, the absorb effect of AD is calculated in a different spot. As a result, you take more damage with the new AD than you did with the old AD from that hit. But the new AD is far more useful since it can't be leapfrogged, you will take less damage overall from the new AD.