Thursday, September 30, 2010

4.0.1 Paladin Talent Changes Overview

It may take a little while for the cookie cutter specs to come down the chain, but there is an interesting argument going on right now between all the theorycrafters. I believe this is what blizzard wanted.

Do you want to crit more so your TPS/DPS goes up or do you want to have the ability to possibly free heal yourself and create a protective bubble with any overhealing?

It's time to look at the new talent trees.



First let's go through the talents for Protection.

Tier 1

Divinity will be the requirement, but the other two points could go into either of the other two talents.

Divinity is a three rank talent making all heals you cast and all heals cast on you heal up to 6%. With the amount of nerfing the mana regeneration the healers are getting anyone could argue this is now a required talent for better healing throughput. (3 Ranks)

Seals of the Pure adds 6/12% more damage to seals and judgements. The only problem is that Judgements and Seals are only adding up to about 12% of total DPS for protection paladins. Adding in 12% more to 12% really only nets you a small amount of damage. This could change as gear gets better, but currently this is a talent to skip unless you want to add that bit of DPS over the ability to heal. Retribution Paladins will most likely want this. (2 Ranks)

Eternal Glory has had a rough history through the PTR and beta. Word of Glory was healing for so little that this was the talent to skip in Tier 1 talents. Now it offers an interesting choice. A paladin looking for the ability to solo more or give himself a spot heal once he has enough threat then this is the talent for you. Although 30% isn't the best, using Word of Glory to heal yourself and keeping all of your holy power once and a while is pretty good. This talent will be in most Holy Paladin builds. (2 Ranks)



Tier 2

Toughness is the required three points in Tier 2. The other two can easily be argued for each, but depending if you want to interrupt faster or slow whatever you judge, the choice is yours.

Judgement of the Just is another Hybrid Talent. If you are going to be the main tank of your guild I'd recommend this just for the slowing of attack speed involved with it. The PvP benefits of 1 extra second of Seal of Justice is pretty bad. (2 Ranks)

Toughness is down to three ranks instead of five, increases armor value from items by 10%. Required Talent. (3 Ranks)

Improved Hammer of Justice reduces the cooldown for Hammer of justice by 10/20 seconds. With Tier 5 talent Vindication this becomes a reduction on a protection paladin's interrupt. This has PvE and PvP uses. (2 Ranks)

Tier 3

Sanctuary, Hammer of the Righteous, and Wrath of the Light Bringer are required. I would argue so is Hallowed Ground to make consecration actually work a little like it used to.

Hallowed Ground has gone through some changes. For now it increases damage and reduces mana cost of consecration (which by default is 55% of mana), but nothing changes the fact that consecration now has a 30 second cooldown which now makes Consecration a multi-mob spell only. (2 Ranks)

Sanctuary is now the talent that replaces the defense stat. This is the protection paladin to become uncrittable to tank. Also adds a needed damage reduction and the usual 3% mana return when a melee attack is dodged or blocked. (3 Ranks)

Hammer of the Righteous is a must have because it now acts as a swipe and generates holy power. (1 Rank)

Wrath of the Lightbringer is a much needed 60% damage boost to Crusader Strike and Judgements with the added bonus of 30% extra crit to Hammer of Wrath and Holy Wrath. All of these are main abilities in the new protection paladin rotation. (2 Ranks)

Tier 4

Shield of the Righteous and Grand Crusader are a must. Reckoning is to help you level, not to tank.

Reckoning is still in the talent tree mostly because it is good for leveling in my opinion. The last thing on a boss you want to do is give it more chances to parry and smash you in the face. Take this for leveling if you want, but throw it away for end game raiding. (2 Ranks)

Shield of the Righteous is no longer a base paladin talent. Every protection paladin should have this. (1 Rank)

Grand Crusader adds a bit of RNG into the prot paladin rotation which has some holes in it where a paladin is sitting with nothing to do for two entire GCDs. The procs from this should work nicely. (2 Ranks)


Tier 5

Holy Shield is the only real required talent in this tier, but every single one of these talents has a purpose and I would take them all.

Vindication pretty much does what it used to do. Reduces physical damage caused by the target you are attacking. The difference now is that this talent makes Hammer of Justice an interrupt on bosses and other creatures immune to stuns. (2 Ranks)

Holy Shield now is a buff that is activated when you use an ability that drains holy power (Shield of the Righteous or Inquisition[learned at level 81]). Word of Glory is added to this list with the next Talent. (1 Rank)

Guarded by the Light does a few things. First it makes Word of Glory actually heal for something when a protection paladin casts this on himself. Second it creates a bubble for the amount overhealed for 6 seconds if the Paladin has full life when healed. Third is that Word of Glory also now procs Holy Shield. If a paladin plans on healing himself to give healers a break and have it actually count for something this is the talent. Using this will actually help when trying to protect yourself as you heal and cause Holy Shield. (2 Ranks)

Divine Guardian is now split off from Divine Sacrifice. This is an optional talent, but with the amount of mana regeneration and healing nerfs that have gone into cataclysm this talent will help when a pull goes bad or people are taking too much damage. Downside is the 20% damage reduction does not affect the casting paladin. (1 Rank)

Tier 6

Sacred Duty is no longer the requirement it once was, but with the difficulty protection paladins are having with threat generation at the moment, a critical Shield of the Righteous is very helpful. Shield of the Templar is a must.

Sacred Duty no longer has the stamina buff linked to it, but does add a 50% chance to make your Shield of the Righteous crit on its next use. Three Holy Powered Shield of Righteous does quite a bit of damage and threat so adding in a crit is never a bad thing. (2 Ranks)

Shield of the Templar is a required talent. This talent reduces the cooldown on Avenger's Shield, guardian of the Ancient Kings, and Avenging Wrath. Yes, yes, and yes please. (3 Ranks)


Teir 7

Ardent Defender has been changed to be an on-use cooldown. It now reduces incoming damage by 20% and still has the life saving 15% health reset if the paladin suffers a killing blow. The downside is that it only lasts for 10 seconds so you have to use it where needed.

Talents from the Retribution Tree

The talents in the retribution tree that are good for prot depends on what you are trying to do.

For now I would max out Crusade and put one point into Improved Judgement.

The ending Talent tree looks like this (0/32/4).

Disclaimer: A lot of stuff can change between patch 4.0.1 and 4.0.3 (the release of Cataclysm) and most of these talents are geared towards level 85 so the talents can and probably will chance causing the spec to change with them.

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