Friday, September 3, 2010

Tankadining in Cataclysm

This week was a clusterfuck of scheduling issues and half my raid having RL blow up in their faces. Still killed half the raid on Heroic. Not too terrible. So, I'm going to talk about Cataclysm Paladin Tanking Talents.

I'm feelin' this 3/31/7 build.

Stuff I'm skipping:

Reckoning - same ol' reasoning. More swings might be good for threat, but parry-haste will wind up making us take more damage. No, thanks.

Guarded By The Light - I just hate having to heal myself as a tank. That's not my job. I'll pop Sacred Shield every now and again if I don't have a paladin healer but really, putting up a piddly shield doesn't thrill me when I can use my Holy Power for a Shield of Righteousness/Holy Shield instead.

Eye For An Eye: Magical Attacks only? I'm not the world's biggest fan of reflective damage anyway and this seems like a purely PvP talent an a shitty one at that.

Stuff I'm ambivalent about taking:

Improved Judgment: Ranged attacks? It will be good for trash, but I think I'd rather spend 2 points elsewhere than to pick up something that is useless on most boss fights. Still, I want to get Pursuit of Justice so I guess I have no choice in the matter as Eye For An Eye is even worse.

Divinity: 6% increase to incoming heals? I don't know where the theorycraft hammer will land on this, it could be a lot or it could be a little depending on what healing numbres look like. I dabbled a little bit with the current iteration of this talent before dropping it completely and didn't miss it, but in the current build, I don't know where else I would drop points. More threat in Retribution? I don't know. I feel like I want to focus on survival first and then worry about threat as I need to. This is really big "menh" for me.

Stuff that has left me scratching my head:

Shield of the Righteous and Holy Shield make it seem like you no longer need to maintain Holy Shield - it is instead, a constant source of Block chance every time Shield of the Righteous is used.

So I guess that mean our rotation is starting to look like...
  • Crusader Strike for single targets, Hammer of the Righteous for multiple targets (30% weapon damage = useless for bosses)
  • Judgment (Seal of Truth for bosses due to scale-up time, Seal of Righteousness for multiple target)
  • Avenger's Shield (Procs! Procs! I love procs!)
  • Consecration (with Hallowed Ground, mana cost becomes 17% so while not spamable it can be a longer term part of our spell toolkit depending on the damage output)
  • Shield of the Righteous (at 3 stacks) to proc Holy Shield
In addition we have good old Holy Wrath which is buffed to hit all enemies along with a talent, but I doubt it'll be part of a single-target rotation. I feel like all of this is pushing paladins into AoE territory along with Hammer of the Righteous loosing its target cap.

On an AoE pull (yeah, yeah, I know, no more AoE, we'll see how that goes), you drop a Consecrate, Avenging Wrath, Hammer, Judgment, Shield of the Righteous and go from there and as long as DPS gives you 3 or 4 GCDs I doubt agro would be an issue from there.

I also find it interesting that Shield of the Templar drops the cool-down of Avenging Wrath by a minute so that it can be used up to 3 times in a really tight 5 or 6 minute long fight. Is Blizzard expecting Tankadins to pop wings during fights more often to gain agro leads and then pop it again on CDs as a way of staying ahead of blistering DPS? I hope so, I'm a fan of aggressively pushing my DPS without giving up on my survivability (I can manage ~4.5k on H:BQL now, while our top DPS caps around 21k for that fight). Really looking forward to this.

Compared to our current rotation of Judgment, Hammer of the Righteous, Shield of the Righteous, Consecration and Holy Shield, it's not unfamiliar. If we just had different tools for AoE and single target, it wouldn't feel like much of a change, but the big, big difference are the procs.

Avenger's Shield popping up randomly and Shield of the Righteous crits when you don't have a full bar of Holy Power ready - decisions on the fly! Chaos! Excitement!

*runs around screaming*

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