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 Protection paladin

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PostSubject: Protection paladin   Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:51 am

Holding Agro
Why, yes, Paladins can tank, thank you very much, and tank well. While the game is balanced around a Warrior tanking end game bosses, and while a Warrior will almost always be the superior tank for single-mob boss encounters (Defensive Stance alone will make this so), to claim that a Paladin cannot tank anything is ridiculous. A Paladin, geared to tank, can tank any 15-man instance or lower, and some Paladins can successfully tank non-boss mobs in Molten Core. It's not easy, no. It requires a bit more thought than a Warrior, and mana is a limiting factor, but it can happen.

Righteous Fury
New to patch 1.9 is the 30 minute self-buff, Righteous Fury, which increases threat generated by holy attacks by 40%. This can be improved by talents (11-13 Points Protection) to 110%. What this means is that every holy damage attack you make is a threat generation move. For those of you that have played as a Warrior, you might notice that some of your abilities expressly state that they generate some level of threat (to wit, Heroic Strike, Sunder Armor, Revenge among others). Well, for Paladins, any attack that generates Holy damage will now generate threat.

Okay, smart guy, you might ask, how does that help me tank? Well, let's look at what attacks do Holy damage, shall we? (For a complete look at the various Seals, you might want to read and understand the Fighter section.)

Seal of Righteousness
Our most constant Holy attack, Seal of Righteousness tacks on extra holy damage to every melee attack, making this a very likely choice for the tanking Seal of choice. While a full treatment of the Seal is covered in the aforementioned Fighter section, know now that this Seal adds a constant, unmitigatible amount of holy DPS, meaning the slower the weapon, the more holy damage you'll see per hit.

However, holding agro is a constant thing - with no taunt abilities available to us (Taunt FORCES the target to attack you), you want to be firmly atop the threat list. I tend to favor faster one handed weapons here (just like in 1.Cool for greater consistancy delivering that Holy damage. Also, if you are going to Judge SotCrusader off the bat, you will get (slightly) more benefit out of a faster weapon.

Seal of Command
Seal of Command is not as constant as Seal of Righteousness, but scales with your weapon, meaning the harder you hit, the more Holy damage you will do when Command procs. However, Seal of Command is on a PPM basis, meaning the faster your weapon attacks, the less chance you have per hit to proc Command. This makes Command, in my mind, a bit less dependable for holding agro.

I suppose if you want to tank with a massive two hander, you can use Command, but remember that to match the DPS of Righteousness, your average hit should be around 200. Since you will probably want to use a shield while tanking, that's going to have to be one beefy one-hander to outdamage Righteousness.

Judgments of Righteousness & Command
I'm including these together, because, well, they do the same damage to an unstunned target. When your target is stunned, Command does double damage, so it is worthy to note that a very good agro move would be to stun a target (when appropriate) that is attacking another, judge Seal of Command (Rank 5) immediately and then switch back to Righteousness. Judgment can be applied every 10 seconds (8 with talents), and is a very good source of Holy damage.

In all the above choices, Benediction will make your job a lot easier as you will be consuming less mana when you judge/seal. For Jest at 60, it costs 70 mana to cast Judgment. That's nothing.

Consecration
An 11 point Holy Talent that hasn't been covered anywhere else in this guide, Consecration ultimately is a tanking tool more than anything else. Consecration lays down a patch of sanctified ground that delivers Holy damage over time to anyone that walks on it. Important to note that once someone walks on Consecration, they WILL take whatever damage it does - it cannot be cured or cleansed, and they only need to put a pinky toe on the ground to get hit by it. If your target leaves the Consecrated area, they still take holy damage.

So why is that a tanking tool? Well, that there my friends is constant holy damage over time, and constant, area-of-effect threat generation. While Consecration has many other uses (damage, unstealthing rogues in PvP), it is ultimately the best source of on demand holy damage. There's really not much to it - hit a button and the ground lights up. In 1.8, folks could use the Rank 1 version as effectively as Rank 4, but I'm not sure that's the same any more in 1.9. I've heard people say that the amount of damage you do affects threat now, and I'm inclined to agree. Use Rank 5, but use it sparingly.

Holy Shock
A 31 point Holy Talent, Holy Shock has its uses as a high powered version of Judgment of Righteousness, applying more holy damage instantly, albeit for much more mana. However, you can use Holy Shock as a pulling tool to immediately establish high threat, especially if pulls come in slower (like Molten Core). Otherwise, you can keep it in store for emergency taunt purposes (Bad Hunter! No Aimed Shot for you!) However, mind the mana cost and cooldown. They're both high.

Holy Shield
The pinnacle talent in Protection has gotten a lot of bad press in this patch mainly due to its move to 31 points and really not gaining anything in the meantime. However, it is a very good defensive talent as it raises your chance to block by 30%, and does Holy damage on successful blocks (so does Blessing of Sanctuary, something I'll cover below). I'm not going to pontificate on if Holy Shield is worth getting - if you want it, get it, use it, and you'll be happy with it. It does the job it's designed to do.

A quick note on the tanking value of Holy Shield. The purpose of the Protection tree is to help protect others as well as yourself, not nessessarily become a better tank. It makes you more defensive. Holy Shield makes you more defensive, above all. In 1.9, there are many more ways to deliver Holy damage.

Sanctity Aura
While Auras are mainly defensive in nature, the 21 point Retribution Talent Sanctity Aura offers +10% holy damage, making it an attractive choice for dealing Holy threat. Sanctity Aura will not benefit others unless they are Paladins or uh, Priests using Holy Smite (for whatever reason they would be doing that), so you do lose some benefit like resists. However, it can help.

Retribution Aura
The best part about Retribution Aura is that no longer gives threat to other people since there is more Judgment of Fury. A very good option for holding agro once you've gained it. A straight forward choice for holding agro and the faster they attack you, the better it is.

Paladin Threat Generation Options
Advantages Disadvantages
Righteousness Constant, dependable Holy damage over time. Fixed Holy damage, may depend on other abilities to regain agro.
Command Possibility for large damage, grows with weapon damage. Largely undependable with a one-handed weapon.
Judgment Instant Holy damage means instant threat generation. Can use a bit of mana over time without Benediction.
Consecration AE Threat generation, still generates threat if target moves away. Can use a lot of mana over time, can break crowd control.
Holy Shock Instant ranged threat generation, can be used to pull agro initially. Uses a lot of mana, 30 second cooldown means limited use.
Holy Shield Does double duty, maintains holy damage and offers defense. Can be steep mana cost and fixed Holy damage. 31 point Protection talent.
Sanctity Increases Holy damage, thus, increasing threat Lose the utility of resist auras, or the defense of Devotion Aura.
Retribution Increases threat with each attack against you. Lose the utility of resist auras or the defense of Devotion Aura.

A quick note on the talents that I've listed; none of these are meant as a endorsement of what talents you should take for tanking. These are mainly to illustrate what you can do with the given talents if you have them. The whole point of the Paladin is that you have means to gain and hold agro at your disposal. How you implement your talents is up to you, but here's information on ways to make what you have work for you.



Damage Prevention
There is more to protecting others than just holding agro. The very concept of a high armored person holding agro is two-fold; to focus healing on that person, and to mitigate as much damage as possible coming from the enemy. Paladins excel here since not only can we offer a lot of mitigation ourselves, we can grant more mitigation to our allies than anyone else can.

Armor and Resistances
The very concept of Platemail armor is an easy one to understand, but there is more to mitigation than just your armor level. Armor only mitgates physical attacks, which you will see a lot of, but does nothing against magical attacks. This is where resistances come in. Resistance is a level of mitigation against a specific type of damage (Fire, Frost, Arcane, Nature and Shadow; note there is no resistance to Holy). In general, more is better - of everything. If you want to be as defensive as possible, try to go after platemail armor that has multiple resists on it.

You'll find out very quickly that there is a massive level of give-and-take in this game regarding resistances. Itemization is not yet in that truly raise all your resistances AND maintain a healthy level of stat boosts needed to survive (like Strength, Stamina and Intellect.) Choices must be made. This is why most people that tank carry around a few peices that they can swap in for specific resists (like Fire for Molten Core, Nature for ZG/AQ). Outside of the 20-40 man instances, however, armor alone should suffice.

When choosing what statistic, resistance or armor to boost, plan ahead. Facing a place with a lot of mobs that use Frostbolt? Cold resist. Mobs with Mortal Strike? Stamina!

Auras
Five of our 6 base Auras are highly defensive in nature. Here's a run down on them;
Paladin Defensive Auras, an Overview
Description Improved
Devotion Gives 735 additional armor. Increases the armor bonus of your Devotion Aura by 25%.
Concentration Gives a 35% chance of ignoring spell interruption when damageds. Increases the effect of your Concentration Aura by an additional 15% and gives an additional 15% chance to resist Silence and Interrupt effects.
Fire Resistance Gives 60 additional Fire resistance.
Frost Resistance Gives 60 additional Frost resistance.
Shadow Resistance Gives 60 additional Shadow resistance.

How much benefit each aura gives depends on the nature of their use. Devotion Aura grants much more mitigation to a cloth caster than a plate wearer due to diminishing returns on armor. Resistance is pretty much straight forward, but how much extra mitigation each resistance will give you is also subject to diminishing returns as well.

Blessing of Sanctuary
This incredibly helpful little talent of a Blessing is something that's often overlooked due to the low value of damage that it absorbs. However, over time, Blessing of Sanctuary can add up to thousands of points of damage prevented - something that is quite helpful in a long fight such MC+ boss fights. While it's not quite the boost of mitigation that Defensive Stance is, it stacks with Defensive stance, making a warrior even more of a damage sponge. With the advent of Greater Blessings, this Blessing is stacked on every person in our raid, a huge savings in healing over time.

However, don't expect Sanctuary to save someone's life just out of the box. It's meant to be a tool that shaves some damage off each hit, not prevent them from taking any damage. However, the more attacks directed at the subject of Blessing of Sanctuary, the better it is. If you're tanking groups of non-elites, this spell seriously can help save your rear.

In 1.9, Blessing of Sanctuary has a secondary function; on a successful block, the subject will return 50 holy damage to the creatue that attacked him. This is useful not only for Paladin tanking with Righteous Fury, but also helps another tank maintain agro by giving them a smaller version of Holy Shield.

Redoubt, Shield Specialization, Holy Shield
Blocking in WOW can often seem like something that does not have much value due to the low amount of damage actually blocked, however, this damage, like the damage reduction offered by Blessing of Sanctuary, adds up to significant amounts. With Holy Shield, you have an on-demand ability to raise your blocking chance by 30%, and with Redoubt, a critical hit against you offers 30% more. The shield specialization talent offers more mitigation by your shield, increasing the amount each block reduces.

There is another obvious benefit to using a shield that always amazes me when people don't see it - level 60 shields are typically above 2000 armor by themselves, bringing your armor level well into the 7-8k range. This alone is worth 10% or more mitigation.

Blessing of Salvation
Blessing of Salvation is perhaps one of the most powerful tanking tools in the game. What it does is lower the threat of its subject by 30%, allowing your damage and healing classes a little leeway from going overboard with threat. This also makes tanking as a Paladin much easier, as you have more time to build up agro before someone surpasses you. However, it's not NEEDED, per se, in a five man instance. Useful, but not needed. The Horde gets along just fine with a gimp version of it.



Emergency Protection
No matter how good you are at holding aggression, no matter how much defense and skill you have, you will never hold aggression 100% of time. Swarms of mobs where your mages and warlocks have to use area of a effect spells (like the eggs in UBRS) will result in multiple monsters attacking your squishies. Where the Warrior and Druid have Challenging Shout/Roar as an AE taunt, we have several spells which can help our cloth-wearing friends survive 20-on-one odds. Blessing of Sacrifice will transfer some of the damage taken to you, Blessing of Protection will prevent all physical damage and melee monsters will stop attacking the subject, and Lay on Hands will instantly heal for as many hit points as you have, and restore a little mana back.
When To Use (and Not to Use) Sacrifice, Protection and Lay on Hands
Blessing of Sacrifice

* Teammate is taking a large number of hits for small damage.
* Damage from swarms is magical.
* Use after the first few volleys from an AE'ing Mage or Warlock, let Salvation lower their agro first.
* Use on teammates while PvPing to make yourself immune to crowd control such as Polymorph.
* Do not use when you are within danger of dying yourself.

Blessing of Protection

* Teammate is taking large damage from a one or two enemies.
* Damage incoming is physical.
* Use as an emergency button to save a teammate in immediate danger from phyiscal damage.
* Do not use on a tank who is holding agro - melee mobs will ignore those under immunity.

Lay On Hands

* Teammate is in dire need of an immediate heal.
* Ally is taking magic damage that cannot be prevented by Blessing of Protection.
* Lay on Hands will also restore mana to its target, a helpful side effect, but it will drain all of yours.
* Improved Lay on Hands has a 40 minute cooldown and grants 30% more armor to the recipient for 2 minutes.
* Do not use when you have full mana unless it is crucial. You will be drained of all mana.

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PostSubject: Re: Protection paladin   Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:09 pm

man alot ofthat stuff is REALLY old lol
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PostSubject: Re: Protection paladin   Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:39 pm

yeah.
it used to be an amazing guide
i am going to go through and update it though.

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PostSubject: Re: Protection paladin   Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:48 am

my pally builds are gone! Sad
lol

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