Monday, 20 April 2009

Wotlk Paladin Tanking Guide part 3: Glyphs (Patch 3.1)

by Flyingfish

Lets start by going 1 and half month back, this is what I wrote as the conclusion in version 1 of this part of my guide "Choosing glyphs for a paladin tank is boring, because there is only a few variations. Lets hope Blizzard will give us some new glyphs in the future." It seems Blizzard saw it and decided to follow my advice, hehe, thx Blizz. All kidding aside, patch 3.1 has brought some new and very interesting glyphs. I will use the same coloring system as I used with talents (see part 2 of my guide), so a glyph name in purple indicates that I think it is very good for tanking, not that the glyph itself is an epic quality item, as all glyphs have common (white) item quality. Remember again, the score is based on my personal experience and opinion only, and only glyphs relavant to tanking are listed below.

Major glyphs

Glyph of Divine Plea
New glyph! With the Guarded by the Light talent, a protection paladin can keep Divine Plea up all the time, so this glyph actually means permanently 3% reduced damage taken. A very good damage mitigation glyph if you ask me.

Glyph of Salvation
New glyph! Another interesting glyph for damage mitigation. 20% reduced damage could be a life saver in many situations. I still remember the first time our guild went to Naxx, we wiped countless times at Maexxna, because I was undergeared and we had 3 paladin healers, thus no HOT to get me through the Web Sprays, we actually had to work out a Hand of Sacrifice rotation to down the disgusting spider. If only I had Glyph of Salvation at that time. Be careful though, only use Hand of Salvation when you are comfortable in front on the threat meter.
Additionally this is a a very good PvP glyph.

Glyph of Shield of Righteousness
New glyph! Reduces the mana cost of Shield of Righteousness, which is pretty useless in my opinion, since a rank 2 Shield of Righteousness costs 6% of base mana (it's only 200 or something). It may be a good choice for PvP protection paladins...

Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous
New glyph! Since the protection paladin already possess the abilities needed to be the best AOE tank, this glyph is not really that great.

Glyph of Seal of Vengeance
As Seal of Vengeance/Corruption is considered the main tanking seal, this glyph is very good to use when tanking. Note it grants 10 expertise skill, not rating!

Glyph of Righteous Defense
A missed Righteous Defense can have very serious consequences, even though it doesn't occur often. This glyph greatly increases the hit chance of RD, thus almost eliminites wipes caused by a missed taunt. But with the introduction of Hand of Reckoning, we now have two taunt spells, making this glyph less useful.

Glyph of Judgement
10% increase to Judgement damage is not much, but then again we should be using our Judgements whenever they have cooled down.

Glyph of Spiritual Attunement
If you constantly find youself OOM, this glyph can help you. But there are so many other ways to solve mana problems, such as Seal/Judgement of Wisdom, Blessing of Sancturay/Wisdom, Divine Plea and so on, I will not recommand this glyph.

Glyph of Avenger's Shield
I will not recommand this glyph either. It is good if you are only tanking one mob at a time, but that is not our niche. Most of the time, a protection paladin should find him/herself shinning in front of a group of monsters.

Glyph of Seal of Righteousness
The cost of Judgement spells are very cheap, it's simply just not worth a major glyph spot.

Glyph of Consecration
I have seen some tanks with this glyph, I guess they don't use the 96969 rotation, because increasing the cooldown of Consecration to 10 seconds will totally mess up the rotation.

Minor glyphs
The three minor glyphs of blessings are still pretty much useless. That leave Glyph of Sense Undead, Glyph of Lay on Hands and Glyph of the Wise, so no changes to minor glyphs in patch 3.1.

Pre-3.1, a paladin tank didn't have many choices when it comes to glyphs, but now we can actually choose glyphs according to the situation.
For damage mitigation: Glyph of Divine Plea and Glyph of Salvation.
For mana preservation: Glyph of Shield of Righteousness and Glyph of Spiritual Attunement.
For threat generation: Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous, Glyph of Seal of Vengeance, Glyph of Judgement and Glyph of Avenger's Shield.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Wotlk Paladin Tanking Guide part 2: Talents (Patch 3.1)

by Flyingfish

Patch 3.1 has brought many changes to the paladin talents, that's why felt it was neccesary to rewrite this part of my guide. The grading system is the same as I used in the first version: I will comment on each talent from the protection tree, plus the relevant talents from the retribution and holy tree. Additionally I will give each talent a score from the following coloring system, from best to worst:

MustHave - Epic talents that every paladin tank should have.
GoodToHave - Talents very good to have and will help your tanking a great deal.
TakeOrLeave - Talents that will help your tanking, but not at all mandatory.
LeaveIt - Useless talents when it comes to tanking.

Note that the scores are given based on my personal experience and opinion only.

Protection talents

Tier 1:

Increses healing done by you and done to you by 1-5%. A tank stays alive by getting healed, 5% may not sound like a big deal, but these 5% may just be the difference between a wipe and a kill in many situations.

Divine Strength
Now that paladins also receive block value from strength, Divine Strength has become a very good tanking talent, that is probably why it was moved from the holy tree. The extra threat is just a bonus.

Tier 2:

PvP talent, the benefits are almost useless to tanks.

Guardian's Favor
PvP talent, totally useless.

Mandatory tanking talent and the only one worth taking in the whole tier.

Tier 3:

Improved Righteous Fury
Tanking is about two things, threat generation and damage mitigation. This talent provides 6% damage reduction, there is no need to say more.

Tanks always want to have more armor, the reduction to movement slowing effects is a bit useless though, due to Hand of Freedom.

Divine Sacrifice
New talent! An active ability that transfers 30% of all damge taken by party/raid members to you for 10 seconds. Very handy ability in situations where the whole raid takes heavy damage, or when the other tanks need a bit help with damage mitigation. I strongly recommand that you use this ability together with Divine Shield, and I strongly recommand that you pop your bubble first.

Tier 4:

Divine Guardian
New talent! Increses the effect of Divine Sacrifice and Sacred Shield. If you took Divine Sacrifice, you should spend 2 points in this talent as well, because the bonuses are very nice, especially the improvement to Sacred Shield.

Improved Hammer of Justice
I have only seen a very few tanks spending points in Imp HoJ, but this talent is very useful in my opinion. This talent combined with the Judgement of the Just talent will bring the cooldown of HoJ down to 20 seconds, which means we have a spell interrupter every 20 seconds.

Improved Devotion Aura
As I mentioned before, tanks always want to have more armor. But it is the bonus healing effect that makes this talent truly incredible. 6% addition to the amount healed may just be the 6% that saves your ass, you will love this talent, your healers will love this talent, even the damage dealers will love this talent.

Tier 5:

Blessing of Sanctuary
Damage mitigation and threat generation in one talent, this is the best blessing a tank can have, unless you are a bit undergeared for the encounter, in which case BoK will benefit you more.

A very popular talent due to the fact that it roughly doubles your damage output for the duration of the proc. When fighting multiple mobs, it procs all the time, which makes Reckoning one of our best grinding tools. But is it good for tanking? The extra threat from the proc is great, but I still consider Reckoning a bad tanking talent, because the proc makes you hit more. The more you hit the more you get parried, the more you get parried the more damage you take. When tanking hard hitting bosses, this talent can be your death.

Tier 6:
(from this point on, the talents are more or less mandatory, most tanks will maximize the rest of the protection tree)

Sacred Duty
Tanks always want to have more stamina, even more than armor! The bonus effects are very nice too, since Divine Protection is our life-saver.

One-Handed Weapon Specialization
Another great tool to help you generate threat.

Tier 7:

Holy Shield
Damage mitigation, the chance to mitigate damage and threat generation in one talent, if you don't take Holy Shield, you are out of your mind. And keep Holy Shield up at all times!

Ardent Defender
This talent is is underestimated by many, sure it wont save you from hard hitting bosses like Brutallus, but it increases your effective health by a great amount. There is an addon to register how many times Ardent Defender saves you from dying (I can't remember the name, sry), I was surprised to see the number, because I myself was one of those who underestimated this talent, I don't anymore.
Spiritual Attunement
New talent! Used to be a passive ability, it's nevertheless still mandatory for tanking.

Tier 8:

Again a super talent, more block value equals more effective health and more threat. The increased chance to block is an useful (useless you already are block-capped) but unreliable bonus.

Combat Expertise
Tanks always want to have more stamina, they also want to have more expertise, because expertise reduces the chance that you will get dodged and more importantly parried. The additional crit chance is nice too.

Tier 9:

Touched by the Light
The damage (thus threat) a paladin deals is based on attack power and spell power, spell power increased by 30% of your stamina is a huge amount, because you will have high stamina as a tank. I don't know why it comes with a healing bonus though, it is useless to tanks since we almost never heal.

Avenger's Shield
This is the ability I use most of the time when pulling mobs, generates a great amount of threat initially. Combined with Exorcism and Judgement, the threat paladin tanks generates in a pull makes all other tanks cry for their mother.

Guarded by the Light
6% less spell damage taken is very nice. But the new bonus effect is very very very nice, it ensures that Divine Plea is up all the time, meaning you don't have to worry about mana anymore. And combined with the new Divine Plea glyph, you get an exstra 3% damage reduction from all sources.

Tier 10:

Shield of the Templar
Another 3% damage reduction, which is always welcome. The silencing effect to Avenger's Shield gives us another spell interrupter besides HoJ and a great advantage when pulling and tanking caster mobs.

Judgement of the Just
One of the first things I learned when I was a warrior tank, was that I have to keep Thunder Clap up. Well, this is our Thunder Clap, and it comes with Judgements, which we will be using anyway. As mentioned before, together with Imp Hoj, the cooldown of HoJ is down to only 20 seconds.

Tier 11:

Hammer of the Righteous
This talent is what keeps us on the throne as the best AOE tanking class! What makes it even better is in addition to the "4 times your main hand damage", it also applies the active seal to all 3 targets.

Retribution talents

Inspite of being in the retribution tree, this is a tanking talent, and a very good one.

Since all the abilities we use when tanking are instant abilities, this talent is helpful for keeping the mana up, but imo far from worth investing 5 talent points in.

Improved Judgements
A must have for paladin tanks due to the 96969 rotation (see part 5 of my guide), but only 1 point, not 2!

Heart of the Crusader
Very useful talent in encounters with a time limit, or in general to speed up the killing process. But every retribution paladin and many holy paladins have this talent, so it's not a must have for tankadins.

Persuit of Justice
Used to be a very popular talent among prot paladins due to the fact that it used to reduce the chance of you being hit by spells. Sadly not anymore. The speed bonus is still very nice though.

Holy talents

Seals of the Pure
Since you will be using either Seal of Righteousness or Seal of Corruption/Vengeance when tanking, this is a very good talent for additional threat.

Talent build
This is my "basic" build, where I have left out 9 talent points. If you want to interrupt more often, put 2 points in Imp HoJ. If you want to help the raid, Divine Sacrifice, Divine Guardian and Heart of the Crusader are all good choices. If you are not comfortable with your threat generation, you may want to put some points in Seals of the Pure. If you find yourself OOM often, then Benediction is the way to go. The point is, there is no "best build", what is the best solution depends on the situation. And feel free to experiment:)
Patch 3.1 has also brought many new and exciting glyphs, so version 2 of the glyph part is coming up soon, stay tuned :D

Friday, 10 April 2009

High Five list: Top 5 Baby items in WoW

5. Dark Iron Baby Booties
A rare drop from the Relic Coffers in BRD, not equippable, but a very nice novelty item.

4. Baby Shark
This awesome vanity pet can be summoned anywhere, even though its tooltip says "He really requires water". Sadly it didn't made the cut from the PTR to the live patch.

3. Baby Blizzard Bear
Very cute pet from Blizzard's 4'th anniversary, and it is a bind to account item.

2. Baby Crocolisk
The baby crocolisk is the objective of one of the daily fishing quests from Old Man Barlo, and it's the only way to obtain the 4 baby crocolisk vanity pets: Chuck's Bucket, Snarly's Bucket, Muckbreath's Bucket and Toothy's Bucket. As a bonus, when you have this daily fishing quest, the drop chance of Old Crafty in Orgrimmar is greatly increased.

1. Baby Spice
Obtainable from the daily cooking quests in Dalaran. This incredible item can be cast on most targets in the game, including NPCs and many bosses, very useful when some moron (usually a Tauren) is blocking a quest giver, vendor or mailbox by standing on him/it. And try to imagine a Tauren on a half-sized vehicle:) I haven't tested it, but if the Baby spices work on Malygos and Gluth, it will make those fights a lot easier. You can however also wipe the raid by casting it on Ragnaros, The Lurker Below or Thaddius, lol!

This post is dedicated to my new born baby :D