A Prot Paladin Preview of 5.0.4
Greetings Defenders of Light, armed in steel the Protection Paladins have been called, so pick up your shield and let's get to it! Come patch day the majority of you will experience a different Protection Paladin. They will play different from what you are used to with many changes below. This is a recap of the changes that you will face on patch day and it will serve as a summary. I will not be including anything with level 86-90, this purely is about 85 and patch day expectancies. More in-depth posts about the following can be found across the web and you'll be certain to see guides on MMO-Champion in the dedicated section.
So what major things have changed:
- The Talent System has been completely re-hauled and each spec has received many appropriated spells and abilities (discussed below).
- All Paladins have had auras removed.
- It is no longer to possible to get CTC cap (see end of guide). The game calculates on two rolls now.
- Judgements of the Wise has been changed. This means that Judgement no longer returns mana, this will be fixed with a new passive: Guarded by the Light (explained in abilities section).
- You can now have up to 5 Holy Power, the Holy Power bar has also been changed to accommodate this change (Boundless Conviction).
- Vengeance has been changed for all tanks. Each time you take damage, you gain 2% of the un-mitigated damage taken as attack power for 20 seconds.
- Mastery has been changed (see abilities below).
- Hand of Reckoning is now called Reckoning and Righteous Defense (taunt 3 mobs) has been removed.
- Protection Paladins no longer receive spell power from an additional sources other than from 50% of your attack power.
- Protection Paladins can only use: Word of Glory, Flash of Light and Lay on Hands to heal themselves (or others). Holy has taken all other heals.
As you may be already aware, there will be 6 talents in total, earning a new talent every 15 levels. This re-cap will mention 5 of these talents (the 6th tier is un-locked at 90)
You may choose 1 of the following talents per tier, you can always change your mind by purchasing a regent to remove your choice:
Tier 1 (lvl 15) - Choice of Movement you want:
Pursuit of Justice acts as a pretty general movement speed increase. I see this being pretty popular because even with no holy power, it's a 15% movement speed increase at all times, increasing to 30% with 3 holy power. Generally a good talent by the looks of it, good for fights with lots of movement at unpredictable times. Long Arm of the Law has a 50% uptime. Really good talent for pvp as a good gap closer. Could be good for pve, some people seem to like it and others hate it as they don't wish their movement speed to be tied to an ability. Speed of Light looks really good for a fight where you don't have to move often, but when you do, you really need to shift. All 3 of these talents make a speed boot enchant useless for us (yay!) because if a speed boot enchant is needed, you will just swap spec, and if it isn't, you can get Speed of Light. All 3 are good talents, and whilst 2 have a very obvious spot in raiding and challenge modes, the last 1 also does. Long Arm being that 1.
Tier 2 (lvl 30) – Your Control of your opponent/enemy:
What an awful tier for raiding. Fist of Justice halving the cooldown and extending the range, Repentance being a CC and Burden of Guilt a slow. How awkward. Fist of Justice may get some usage in raids for stunning adds, but most importantly having another ranged interupt, and whilst the cooldown is bad, it's not too hideous. Repentance may have some raiding use but I see this being more important in Challenge Modes to be honest. Meaning that you don't have to wait for CC from the dps is simply brilliant, and during a boss fight, could come in handy too should the add not be immune. Burden of Guilt could be a bit lackluster for raiding. When you need to slow something you usually need to slow multiple mobs, not just one. Great for kiting so may be good in combination with Long Arm of The Law for challenge modes and some very specific raid bosses, but this will obviously be high on demand list for pvp due to the much needed snare that paladins always lacked. Probably only 2 of these will see regular raiding use and 1 is more pvp focused, but even those 2 will not come in too handy apart from maybe that interupt range being lovely. I see Fist of Justice being the number one raiding choice but it is again not clear cut.
Tier 3 (lvl 45) – Choice of Healing:
Selfless Healer looks good, but with an 18 second ramp up time for 1 flash of light, this isn't that great. Eternal Flame replaces WoG, and the intial effect heals for as much but due to the HoT effect, it heals for a bit more. At the moment, Sacred Shield is by far and away the best talent in this tier and is almost mandatory.
Tier 4 (lvl 60) – Choice of Utility:
This tier is a pretty obvious choice for general tanking. Hand of Purity decreases DOT damage so this will only be good for fights with heavy DOT damage. Also, it could be good if you have a Monk tank in the raid as Stagger is a DOT so this will act as a good cooldown. Clemency could also be used for some specific fights where you need extra Hand spells, but will not be a general choice. Unbreakable Spirit is clearly the best for tanks at the moment, reducing the cooldown heavily of Divine Protection, Divine Shield, AND Lay on Hands. It really is about as good a talent as we could desire at level 60. For Unbreakable Spirit, assuming perfect and on CD usage, Divine Protection will lose probably 15-20 seconds off it's cooldown, whilst Lay on Hands will lose the whole 5 minutes and Divine Shield about 2-2.5 minutes.
Tier 5 (lvl 75) – Choice of Extra Damage:
As can be seen on the later pages, in its current state, Holy Avenger destroys the other 2 talents, with Divine Purpose in second and Sanctified Wrath in stone dead last. With Divine Purpose having a 25% proc chance however, it would give us a greater uptime of the SHotR buff. Unless you need another cooldown for your boss fight, Divine Purpose is a very appealing choice and Holy Avenger used for those times when you know there will be an extended period of burst damage.
The above input on talents was provided by Merinpally. Remember these are opinion, it is vital you test them yourselves and see what works for you.
Several abilities will have changed icons. Along with gaining new abilities from the above talent tiers, Ret Paladins also experience the following changes:
Mastery - Divine Bulwark also increases the benefits of both buffs gained from Shield of the Righteous (below), along with it's original effects of increasing you chance to block melee attacks by 8%.
Shield of the Righteous - has been turned into an active survival cooldown. This ability has been changed dramatically so take note. The spell now costs 3 Holy Power and does a fixed amount of damage. A buff called Shield of the Righteous, reduces the physical damage you take over the next 3 seconds by 30%. The damage reduction of this buff is based on your Mastery. Bastion of Glory increases the healing of your next Word of Glory by 18%, when cast on yourself. This effect lasts for 20 seconds and stacks up to 5 times. The healing increase is based on your Mastery.
Hammer of the Righteousness - Upon striking an enemy they receive Weakened Blows, which reduces their physical damage by 10%, lasts 30 seconds. This also grants a charge of Holy Power
Judgement - Now has a 30 yard range. Cooldown is lowered to 6 seconds. Your Judgement also gives 1 Holy Power every time to cast Judgement.
Consecration - This spell is protection only and now has a very low cost spell amount, causing holy damage over a 9 second duration to all who enter it.
Holy Wrath - Protection only, will be used in your aoe arsenal and has a 9 second cooldown.
Seal of Command (New) - Learned at level 3. This Seal is replaced by Seal of Truth later on.
Cleanse - has an 8 second cooldown but will not be incurred if you do not actually dispel anything, it will cost you your mana though.
Blessing of Kings - no longer provides 5% Stamina and extra magicial resistance.
Blessing of Might - now grants mastery instead of increased mana regen and attack power.
Devotion Aura (New) - is a defensive raid cooldown. Which overs 20% magic damage reduction, also immunity to silence and movement interrupt effects. It is a mix between Aura Mastery (Holy) and Divine Guardian (Prot).
Guarded by the Light (New) - Increases your total Stamina by 15% and your block chance by 10%. It also reduces the chance you will be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%. Word of Glory has been taken off the global cooldown. Your spell power is now equal to 50% of your attack power, and you no longer benefit from other sources of spell power. Lastly with the removal of Judgements of the Wise this passive will also grant 6% of your maximum mana every 2 sec.
Boundless Conviction (New) - Passive ability granted to all Paladins. It increases Holy Power capacity to 5 (from 3). Abilities that cost Holy Power can still only consume a maximum of 3 Holy Power.
Sanctuary (New) - Is now passive. Decreases damage taken by 15%, increases armor value from items by 10%, and increases your chance to dodge by 2%. This basically is a cross between two talents in Cata (Sanctuary and Toughness), with additional changes.
Heart of the Crusader (New) - Basically Crusader Aura but now passive, granting 20% mount speed.
Supplication (New) – After killing an enemy which can grant experience or honour, for 8 seconds your next Flash of Light will be critical.
Sanctity of Battle (New) – Melee haste effects lower the cooldown of: Judgement, Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteousness, Consecration, Holy Wrath and Hammer of Wrath.
Grand Crusader (New) - Is no longer a talent and is passive.
Judgements of the Wise - This passive allows your Judgement to grant give 1 Holy Power. It no longer returns mana.
Divine Plea, Exorcism and Inquisition are removed from Prot. Auras, Divine Guardian, Holy Shield and Righteous Defense have been removed from the game.
Your rotation revolves around generating Holy Power quickly to use Shield of the Righteous, for a high up-time on the damage reduction buff it provides. So use Shield of Righteous everytime you have 3 Holy Power.
-Crusader Strike & Judgment on cooldown to generate Holy Power.
- Use Avenger's Shield whenever you benefit from a Grand Crusader proc (generates 1 Holy Power). You can also use it normally through your rotation as it will be refreshed by Grand Crusader.
- All downtime between the above can be used on: Holy Wrath, and Consecration.
- As a side note if you have no one with the Weakened Blows debuff, you should use Hammer of the Righteous to keep thedebuff up.
For AoE tanking just slot in Hammer of the Righteous instead of Crusader Strike.
As always use your defensive cooldowns wisely.
Please note that many glyphs will be changing along with the addition of new glyphs and the removal of Prime Glyphs.
Thanks to Malthanis (your lovely Paladin Moderator) for the below example and information.
The devs altered the way block works, to a two roll system, as opposed to Cata's one roll. First, the game rolls against your miss/dodge/parry chance. If it's none of those, it's a hit. It then checks if the hit will be blocked or not.
5% miss, 10% dodge, 25% parry = 40% avoidance
The game randoms between 1 to 100. If it falls within your avoidance (1-40), you avoid the hit. If it falls outside of that, the game takes another random number between 1 and 100, checking against your block this time. With our example stats, that's 1 to 50. Anything 51 and above is a full hit.
This makes it impossible to reach CTC cap, as you would have to reach 100% block in order to avoid a full boss hit at all times.
This concludes the summary of changes for the Prot Paladin for Patch 5.0.4.
This Guide was created with the help of Merinpally, adding input into each of the talent tiers, and Malthanis providing information on CTC thank you.