Hi, people. So here’s the second video about tanks in Wrath of the Lich King. In the previous one, we looked at the protection warrior, what changes they were receiving and how you might potentially play them. There’s a link to that video in the description should you want to watch that one as well.
Now be aware that no one can know exactly for sure just how Wrath of the Lich King will play out. The current guides you can find are based either on the game the way it was played 11 years ago or on private servers. Meanwhile, I believe those things to be generally somewhat accurate.
I remember how the general opinion of fury warriors was that they were likely not going to be very strong in The Burning Crusade and turns out they were one of the strongest DPS classes. So take things with a grain of salt and be careful of two strong or absolute statements.
Now I’ll start this video with what I think are the paladin’s strengths and weaknesses, then I’ll go into the spells and talents, how you might want to play them, and then finally talk about the rotation and what role seems to fit them. Also, I of course have my own personal preferences but I’ll do my best to have an open mind.
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
With that said, the paladin’s strengths and weaknesses seem to be as follows: they seem easy to play with strong passive mitigation and powerful buffs, as well as good overall performance.
The negative is that they don’t have any burst movements, they seem quite forced to stand still, their rotation seems rather static and they only really have one big personal cooldown, defensive cooldown that is, unless you glyph to get one more.
I’ll talk more about this but I’ll save it to the end of the video when we’ve looked at changes to spells as well as talents and I can go more in depth about why I think the way I think.
ABILITIES & CHANGES
And so, let’s get into the new abilities and the changes to abilities. As with the protection warrior, I’ll only look at the changes and abilities I deem significant.
So Avenger’s Shield has been made instant and now scales with 7% of attack power and 7% of spell power. The base damage has also been increased when comparing ranks in The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King.
Sacred Shield is a new ability that shields the target whenever it takes damage. It scales with 75% of spell power and has a base value of 500. The shield cannot be applied more than once every 6 seconds and the buff lasts for 30 seconds.
With 1.2k spell power, it should heal for about 230 HPS while in combat. It’s not massive but it’s nice. It’s also likely very strong when you’re soloing lower level dungeons.
Divine Protection has been changed to reduce damage taken by 50% for 12 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown. It also causes the Forbearance buff for 2 minutes; however, Avenging Wrath has its own 30 second debuff and is sort of separate from other things.
Consecration remains largely intact. However, it now scales with 4% spell power and 4% attack power per tick instead of only spell power.
Holy Shield has received a slight base damage increase, as well as being changed to scale with 9% spell power and 5.6% attack power.
Shield of Righteousness
Shield of Righteousness is a new ability almost identical to Shield Slam for the protection warrior. It scales with block rating and it has a 6 second cooldown.
Exorcism has been changed to be usable on all types of mobs but it’s now guaranteed to crit on undead and demons. It now scales with both 15% attack power and spell power compared to scaling with 43% spell power in TBC.
Divine Plea is a new ability that generates 25% of your total mana over 15 seconds but it does reduce healing done by some of your healing spells by 50%. This ability can be improved with a talent to be refreshed whenever you hit a mob.
Avenging Wrath has been nerfed, reducing the damage bonus from 30% to 20%. However, the Forbearance buff has been decreased from one minute to 30 seconds.
Blessing of Freedom, Protection, Salvation, and Sacrifice
Blessing of Freedom, Protection, Salvation and Sacrifice has been changed from “Blessings” to “Hand of” spells. Meaning Hand of Protection should no longer remove any other paladin buff.
For example, most of these abilities are identical except for Hand of Salvation. Instead of being a passive buff, it is now a 2 minute cooldown, reducing the target’s threats by 2% every second for ten seconds. This ability can be glyphed to reduce damage taken by 20% when you cast it upon yourself.
Also, your Seals now last for 30 minutes and are no longer consumed by Judgements.
Instead, each particular Judgement has been given its own spell.
Seal of Light now scales with 15% attack power and 15% spell power, massively increasing the healing potential of this ability. The proc rate might have been buffed as well. Seal of Wisdom now restores 4% of your total mana per proc instead of doing a flat amount.
Generally, the scaling of abilities has been changed to include attack power but reduce the gain from spell power.
And with this said, we’re moving on to the talents.
Divinity increases all healing done and received by 5%. I’m not sure if this means that all self-healing has been increased by 10% but that is the logical conclusion from this wording.
Divine Strength increases your total strength by 15%. That’s more attack power for higher overall damage.
Divine Sacrifice makes for a nice group-wide defensive cooldown, especially when combined with Divine Guardian.
It redirects damage taken by players equal to 40% of the paladin’s maximum health for each party member. The effect lasts for 10 seconds and it is removed if the paladin drops below 20% of its own health.
The Divine Guardian talent further improves this cooldown by granting all party members a 20% damage reduction for 6 seconds as well.
Improved Righteous Fury
Improved Righteous Fury now only grants 6% overall damage mitigation.
Improved Devotion Aura
Improved Devotion Aura increases the armor of your Devotion Aura by 50%, as well as increases healing received by anyone affected by one of your auras by 6%. Considering that auras are raid-wide, this makes for a very nice buff overall.
Blessing of Sanctuary
Blessing of Sanctuary now reduces all damage taken by 3% as well as increasing stamina and strength by 10%. Also, whenever you block, parry or dodge, you gain 2% of your maximum displayed mana.
Spiritual Attunement is likely an unnecessary talent. You will most likely receive more than enough mana from Divine Plea and Blessing of Sanctuary but it works just like the ability in TBC, giving you mana whenever you’re healed.
Argent Defender is potentially one of the most broken talents in the game depending on the fight. This one gives the paladin a passive cooldown that allows it not to die after taking fatal damage but instead, restoring a certain percent of health based on your defense rating and this one only has a 2 minute cooldown.
Essentially, this could allow you to completely ignore a raid mechanic and just live even if you’ve taken infinite damage as long as it’s from a single attack.
Touched by the Light
Touched by the Light gives you 60% of your strength as spell power, likely making strength one of your best stats.
Guarded by the Light
Guarded by the Light partly reduces spell damage taken by 6% and also causes your Divine Plea to be refreshed whenever you hit the mob.
Shield of the Templar
Shield of the Templar reduces damage taken by 3% and causes your Avenging Shield to silence the target for 3 seconds.
Judgements of the Just
Judgements of the Just essentially gives the paladin Thunderclap. However, it only affects your judged targets.
Hammer of Righteousness
Hammer of Righteousness hits a total of 3 mobs for 4 times your main hand damage per second on a 6 second cooldown. This one can also be glyphed to hit 4 mobs in total.
Exactly what to do with your remaining points, I’m not sure of but likely something like this. Note that Sanctity Aura has been removed so there’s no need to dive deep into the retribution tree.
Crusade has been buffed to increase all damage done by 3% and an additional 3% against humanoids, demons, undeads and elementals. So that’s almost all mobs you’re going to be fighting.
So overall, you now have the potential of reaching 18% passive reduction, not including any armor, parry, dodge or block as well as 11% more healing received.
It’s always a matter of balancing damage taken and healing received. And increasing healing received allows you to take more damage without dying.
So you can basically equate these two things with each other. Generally, effects like these are multiplicative; meaning you can multiply them and not add them or you should multiply them, not add them.
So 1.18 times 1.11 equals to 1.31. This is just an estimate but putting the numbers together, it seems that as a paladin, you should be quite fine to always do double pack pulls as long as you utilize Sacred Shield and Seal of Light.
Alright, so what does the basic rotation look like? Well, obviously, you keep your paladin buffs as well as Righteous Fury up at all times. That should go without saying. Your rotation basically consists of four spells: Consecration, Holy Shield, Hammer of Righteousness and Shield of Righteousness.
As for your seals, judgements and auras, use the most fitting one depending on the situation. Judging wisdom is pretty pointless if you don’t have any casters or hunters for example.
Once a mob is below 20%, you can use Hammer of Wrath as an execute and add that into your rotation but that’s pretty much it. The rotation doesn’t really change a lot depending on the fight. Shield of Righteousness is a pure single target spell, meaning you will probably only use it as a filler on AOE packs. But besides that, I don’t see why you would change the rotation much.
Try and use Avenging Wrath as often as possible but preferably on AOE packs or combined with other cooldowns such as trinkets or whatever you might have. But just letting it sit off cooldown without pressing it is a waste of damage.
Use Divine Protection either to mitigate heavy damage or to do bigger pulls. Also try and get as much usage out of this one as possible. Defensive cooldowns allow for bigger pulls, meaning higher DPS from your damage dealers and thus, faster runs.
Do note that once the cooldown ends, you don’t really have any way of mitigating the rest of the damage taken so you’ll be dependent on other players to CC, finish off the packs or use external cooldowns on you. Otherwise, you’ll probably just drop dead.
Utilize Divine Sacrifice in situations where the group is about to take heavy AOE damage. Use your “Hand of” spells as seem fit. If you’ve decided to use Glyph of Salvation, you can use it to reduce damage taken for yourself. However, as it’s only a 10 second 20% damage reduction, it will not allow for massive changes in pulls or similar.
So to give a summary, you don’t seem to have a very dynamic rotation and your Divine Protection alone does not allow for very crazy or large pulls. Overall, the protection paladin seems like a straightforward, easy to play, and strong tank bringing the massive paladin buffs and strong passive mitigation.
This in combination with having Holy Shield charges up for every single attack, if it’s a single target fight, makes the paladin seem like the ideal tank for many raids. And this simple playstyle probably means that most people can pick up the protection paladin and do decently well without needing a lot of experience or knowledge about fights and dungeons.
Meanwhile, there is great potential for damage in big AOE packs, there’s really only a single defensive cooldown to help mitigate increased damage taken. And on top of that, their non-cooldown mitigation scales poorly with larger packs. Either it’s unaffected or it’s downright worse.
For example, taking more hits means that the charges of Holy Shield are consumed faster and potentially leaves windows when you’re out of charges and the ability is still on cooldown. This means that you, on average, take even more damage per hit than you do in a smaller pack as more of your attacks will not get blocked.
Redoubt will of course be proceed more often if you’re hit more often, but it will also be consumed faster so there’s no real change. Sacred Shield will still do a nice little protective work but since it’s pretty much a flat amount of mitigation, it quickly becomes insignificant. If you’re taking 8,000 damage per second, 300 healing per second is pretty much irrelevant.
The Seal of Light is also nice but it does not really scale with the number of mobs you’re attacking except for the parry haste, but that is pretty much insignificant in this situation.
Overall, I interpret this as the paladin being a great base tank or a great overall tank, especially when things are on farm and you out-care the content. If a boss does not have any special abilities that require many defensive cooldowns or if the dungeon is easy, the paladin is likely a very good choice.
However, without any burst movements and with Consecration being dropped on the floor, you’re forced into a quite immobile play style.
Because once a pack is outside of your Consecration, you lose most of your AOE threats.
So in the previous video, I made this graph showing performance versus skill for protection warriors, paladins and feral druids. And it still seems decently accurate to me, only that I would like to make the difference between the lines a bit smaller.
I’m not saying protection warriors are the best tank. Rather, I’m saying that it has the highest skill ceiling due to its many defensive CDs. Look at the slope/shape of the curves rather than their position relative to each other.
At least for the high-skill end.
Properly rotating between Divine Protection and Avenging Wrath and making good use of your “Hand of” spells is where the difference between a good paladin and a great paladin will likely be.
To end the video off, I’ll reiterate that the protection paladin seems like a solid and easy to play tank and from what I’ve heard, most people consider this to be a very good tank in Wrath of the Lich King.
If you enjoy protection paladins in TBC, you’re likely going to love protection paladins in Wrath of the Lich King. And so, that was all from me for now.
If you want to ask any questions or so, the best place to ask would either be in my Discord or over at the stream. Check links in the description.
So far, I’ve covered the paladin and the warrior as tanks in Wrath of the Lich King and I’m planning on doing the same with the druid and eventually the death knights. Anyway, if you enjoyed the video, make sure to like and subscribe. I’ll be back soon with another video and until then, see you.