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Another Article on Paladins in WotLK - Clan YaWA - You and Whose Army

Another Article on Paladins in WotLK

Paladin class discussion.

Moderator: Demon Hunters

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Heartwood
Posts: 1670

Another Article on Paladins in WotLK

Post#1 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:27 am

is another good article on Paladins in WotLK:

Holy Shield Overlap
One of the more subtle, yet significant changes is the reduction of the cooldown of Holy Shield to 8 seconds (down from 10), while retaining it's 10 second duration. This has a number of effects, with the most obvious being an increase in the number of Holy Shield charges being available over the same length of time, bettering block coverage against multiple mobs. Against single target, the duration-cooldown overlap is something we've asked for for quite a while in order to combat crushing blows, but with their removal will simply mean a (still welcome) buff of 100% reliable shield block value application against incoming hits. It is significant that, with the change to Warrior Shield Block, and the lack of shields by both Druids and Deathknights, Paladins will be the only tanking class which really takes advantage of this form of mitigation, giving us an edge against foes who hit faster with softer individual hits.


8-Second Duration and the Threat Rotation
This is another factor which been less obvious to the outside viewer. Paladin ability use rotations are based around the 10-second reuse of Holy Shield, and the cooldown reduction changes the way our rotation fits together on a very basic level, and definately for the better. Part of the challenge of first learning to play a paladin tank was being able to rationalize how to put together a rotation when dealing with various abilities which all had differenet cooldowns, resulting in each consecutive 10-seconds being slightly different from the last as you rotate through different timings and orders of abilities within each 10-second Holy Shield. With the reduction of the base of the rotation to 8-seconds, however, Blizzard has granted Paladins a great boon by matching up cooldowns to allow consistant rotations, which results in an increase in threat gen.

Previously:
Holy Shield - 10 seconds
Consecration - 8 seconds
Judgement/re-seal - 10 seconds (often reduced to 9/8 through talents)

Now:
Holy Shield - 8 seconds
Consecration - 8 seconds
Judgement/re-seal - 8 seconds (talented)
Shield of Righteousness - 6 seconds
Hammer of the Righteous - 6 seconds

Something important to look at here is the way this rotation will function with global cooldown use in order to utilize the new abilities Shield of Righteousness (think Shield Slam) and Hammer of the Righteous (think Swipe).

The global cooldown being 1.5 seconds long, you can see that a string of perfectly triggered global cooldowns does not fit precisely within 8-seconds. This is why having 2 seconds of Holy Shield duration overlap is so significant as opposed to 1 second. A well-handled rotation can take advantage of this by letting Holy Shield "sit" for 1 of the 2 seconds before renewing it, allowing an additional global cooldown ability to be used and the length of THAT particular Holy Shield cycle to be stretched to 9 seconds.

But what to do with that extra global cooldown? Use of all the abilities listed above only requires 5 GCDs (7.5 seconds), not 6 (9 seconds)! And what is worth pushing off reuse of your abilities by 1 second?

The answer is SEAL WEAVING.


Seal Weaving
Much attention has been given to the fact that both factions have FINALLY been given the previously racial seals of the other. While the alliance retadins celebrate their aquisition of Seal of Blood, many a horde paladin will not recognize the power of their version of Seal of Vengeance. Seal of Vengeance (named Seal of Corruption for the horde) is the proud recipient of a significant buff in two respects; the duration of its DoT stack, and the ease of its renewal. For those of you not familiar with the spell, I'll list the description here.

Seal of Vengeance/Corruption
14% of base mana
Instant cast
Fills the Paladin with holy power, granting each melee attack additional Holy damage over 18 sec. This effect can stack up to 5 times. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time. Lasts 30 sec.
Unleashing this Seal's energy will judge an enemy, instantly causing Holy damage per application of Holy Vengeance.

Essentially, every melee attack you do while under the seal places an 18-second holy DoT on your target which benefits from a 17% spell damage coefficient (note that Seal of Righteousness is only 9%). The DoTs stack up to 5, just like a rogue poison, and every melee attack you do while having the seal up (i.e. every reapplication) resets the duration of the whole stack.

So what is Seal Weaving?

Seal weaving is the ability to effectively use Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Righteousness AT THE SAME TIME. After putting up a 5-stack of SoV DoTs, the user switches to using SoR while the DoTs tick happily away. When the duration of the DoTs winds down, the paladin will have just judged Righteousness (it having a favorable coefficient of 73% compared to Vengeances 43%) and will insert that 1 extra global cooldown into the current rotation by resealing Vengeance for one melee mit to refresh the entire DoT stack and then using the extra global cooldown to then reseal right back to Righteousness. With the newly increased length of the Vengeance DoT stack, you'd only need to seal twist every second Holy Shield cycle to effectively be using 2 seals at once throughout the entire fight.

Seal Weaving can and is accomplished with difficulty in the current game by advanced users, but is considerably more combersome to manage due to both the much shorter DoT duration and the fact that each swing is only a chance to reapply the stack based on a ppm.


EDIT: Just found out that Judgements will no longer consume the active seal, meaning that Judgement will not need to be macro'ed to resealing and will no longer then take up a global cooldown in our rotation. Now our 8-second rotation is pretty much as beautiful as it can be, with room to use Exorcism too (15 second cooldown) every other cycle against undead/demon targets.


THUNDERJUDGE!
Judgements of the Just
Your Judgement spells now also reduce the melee attack speed of the target by 20%.

Loooooooong awaited.
Enough said.


Divine Guardian
This talent is an amazing addition to the prot pally arsenal. An incredibly characterful (not to mention highly powerful) spell, this talent now causes your Divine Shield to redirect 30% of all damage taken by any raid member within 30 yards! Beyond it's obvious power as a raid-wide shield wall, or simply a helping hand to the current tank, this serves the purpose of fixing a serious off-tanking problem. Use of this ability when off-tanking provides a big mana-intake surge to allow much higher average off-tanking TPS than was previously possible. With the addition of the use of Hand of Sacrifice in an offtanking role, mana-returns while off-tanking will be through the roof.

At the brink of danger I stand. Clad in armour, shield and sword in hand.

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Lealla
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Post#2 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:49 am

Heart, I'd like to mention something about Divine Guardian. Unless the redirected damage bypasses the immunity from Divine Shield (or Divine Shield is itself being reworked), this talent won't provide any mana gains for the Paladin.

If it does still hurt the Paladin, then you could easily and accidentally suicide with it - not a good thing. Imagine as an example casting DS during Shatter. If all 25 raid members take an average of 2000 damage (a very low number), the Paladin will take 15K, resulting in a near-instagib, especially if it's followed up by eating 30% of a Hurtful Strike or 30% of standard melee damage from the tank.

A Paladin seeking to improve offtanking mana efficiency might want to use Seal of Blood/the Martyr instead of Righteousness or Vengeance/Corruption. This way he/she is taking a consistent amount of damage that can be healed for some mana regen. Also, let's not forget the fact that most healing classes now have talents to allow their heals to restore some mana; another boon for the Protection offtank.

Anyway, the mana issues suffered by Paladin offtanks are not that much different from the Rage issues suffered by Warriors or Druids in the same role; it's just harder to replenish (but remember Judgement of Wisdom). One very nice change is the addition of the new "Evocation" ability, which can be used to recharge a depleted mana bar an average of twice per boss fight.


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Heartwood
Posts: 1670

Post#3 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:57 am

Yeah.... But what a heroic thing for the Paladin to do....sacrificing himself like that for the raid.... ;)

is going to have some great applications for Prot War OTs. The -10% threat production means that it needs to be used cautiously, but a +5% chance to dodge is a huge buff. I was looking at Ahti's stats yesterday (MT from CP) and he has a 92% avoidance rate. Adding 5% more dodge to a tank like that would mean his average incoming damage would drop by over half. Wow...

-Heart


At the brink of danger I stand. Clad in armour, shield and sword in hand.

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Lealla
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Post#4 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:37 am

Hmm, thinking about my action bars with WotLK - so many new abilities to consider.

Protection
1 - Attack
2 - Judgement macro (normal = Wisdom, Shift = Light, Alt = Justice?)
3 - Seal macro (normal = Vengeance, Shift = Righteousness, Alt = Martyr)
[For Retribution, it'll be Command and Martyr]
4 - Shield of Righteousness
5 - Holy Shield
6 - Hammer of the Righteous (put here so I don't accidentally click it in CC situations)
7 - Righteous Defense (although I normally use the middle mouse button to cast this with Clique)
8 - Flash of Light
9 - Holy Light
10 - Shield macro (normal = Divine Shield, shift = Divine Protection, second click = cancel)
-/= - Blessings (varies)

Top row (clicked abilities)
- Hand of Freedom
- Hand of Protection
- Hand of Salvation
(Note: I'll probably set the Hand spells to be delivered via mouse clicks also)
- Hammer of Justice
- Hammer of Wrath
- Exorcism
- Holy Wrath
- Consecration
- Other blessings

I was worried at first that all the new abilities would overload my action bars, but with the consolidation of the Seals and changes to Blessing/Hand spells, I may end up saving space instead!
Last edited by Lealla on Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Lealla
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Post#5 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:57 pm




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