Friday, 13 March 2009

Wotlk Paladin Tanking Guide part 5: Threat generation

by Flyingfish

Offense wins the crowd
A tank with high threat ensures that the damage dealers seldom get aggro and die, that is why a tank that knows how to generate threat will generally be considered as a good tank. Your ability to generate threat is the most important factor when it comes to your reputation as a tank, understandable, but not completely justified imo. But since this is the general opinion of the people out there, we shall not disappoint them.
A protection paladins threat comes from holy damage modified by Righteous Fury, this leads to the 3 most important rules for paladin tanks:
  • Rule number 1: Don't forget Righteous Fury when tanking.
  • Rule number 2: DO NOT forget Righteous Fury!
  • Rule number 3: NEVER EVER forget Righteous Fury!
After Blessing of Salvation has been removed, your holy damage actually generates 171.7% additional threat when under the influence of RF, so it is a huge deal. Forgetting RF is the most noobish thing a paladin tank can do.
Assuming the 3 rules we talked about before are followed, a paladin tanks threat pretty much comes down to maximizing holy damage, where two numbers play a major role, that is 6 and 9 (no dirty thoughts now :P).

The 96969 rotation
The basic 96969 rotation is about using every global cooldown, and it consists of 5 abilities:
  • Holy Shield (8 sec CD)
  • Judgement (10/9/8 sec CD)
  • Consecration (10/8 sec CD)
  • Shield of Righteousness (6 sec CD)
  • Hammer of the Righteous (6 sec CD)
Where the first 3 abilities are considered 9 sec CD abilities and the last 2 are considered 6 sec CD abilities. The rotation is done by alternating between 9 sec CD abilities and 6 sec CD abilities. Since the global cooldown lasts 1.5 sec, an example of the 96969 rotation will look like this:
time - ability to use
0.0 - Holy Shield (9)
1.5 - Shield of Righteousness (6)
3.0 - Judgement (9)
4.5 - Hammer of the Righteous (6)
6.0 - Consecration (9)
7.5 - Shield of Righteousness (6)
9.0 - Holy Shield (9)
10.5 - Hammer of the Righteous (6)
12.0 - Judgement (9)
13.5 - Shield of Righteousness (6)
15.0 - Consecration (9)
and so on...
If you haven't used this rotation in the past, but want to use it in the future, I suggest that you place these 5 abilities next to each other to make it clear which 1 of the 5 abilities have cooled down, for example like this:
key 1 - Shield of Righteousness
key 2 - Hammer of the Righteous
key 3 - Holy Shield
key 4 - Judgement
key 5 - Consecration
Then all you have to do is alternating between 1/2 and 3/4/5, like: 3, 1, 4, 2, 5, 1, 3, 2, 4, 1, 5...really easy and relaxing.

Maximizing threat output
The 5 abilities in the basic 96969 rotation are not optimal for threat generation, because paladins are blessed with other high damage "optional" abilities like Exorcism, Avenger's Shield and Holy Wrath. But the problem with these abilities are longer cooldowns, so in order to maximize the holy damage output, we have to fit these long CD abilities into our rotation by replacing basic abilties with optional abilties whenever their CDs allow it. The question here is which ability should be replaced. The answer depends on the situation, what I usually do is replacing Judgement and/or Shield of Righteousness with Avenger's Shield and/or Holy Wrath when AOE tanking. And I usually replace Hammer of the Righteous with Exorcism and Avenger's Shield when tanking single targets or bosses. But whatever you do, do NOT replace Judgement when tanking a boss, I have seen some paladin tanks to that, and it is a very bad idea if you ask me, why? Because Judgement reduces your targets melee attack speed by 20%, and you get a buff from Libram of Obstruction, not to mention JoL can be a huge threat boost. But threat from JoL will be (maybe already is?) removed. So let the retribution paladin judge light, because they have the highest attack power + spell power, if there is no retri pally, judge light yourself. It is very important that no other paladin in the party/raid use the same Judgement as you, because Judgements overwrite each other, including the melee attack speed debuff and Heart of the Crusader. I usually do not replace Consecration either, unless running low on mana, because Consecration is a very reliable threat output, every other ability have a chance to miss, Consecration will always hit except for the first tick. Last but not least, you should be using Seal of Corruption/Vengeance most of the time when tanking, Seal of Righteousness is only superior when tanking fast dying mobs.
Next part of my guide is about damage mitigation, but before that, I think I'll rewrite the parts about talents and glyphs as patch 3.1 brings changes to paladin talents as well as new glyphs.

1 comment:

  1. Ty for nice guide.. I found it really useful :) GL and see ya around.