Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More About Paladin Threat

After my last post, it was nice to hear from a couple of folks that they were also having trouble with threat, so I'm not just being a baddie (for once).

So. I'm mostly interested in solutions, not just complaining. How do we get around this? Let's take about threat from the top.

Hit and Expertise are the two threat stats we're concerned with.

Hit is fairly obvious, it lets you hit things more accurately. The way it works out, you can refer to the following table to see how much hit you need at any given moment. Keep in mind, there is no mob in the game more than 3 levels above yours when you're at cap, so right now, raid bosses are level 88. As an aside, this means for your PvP set, you only need 5% hit.

Difference in Level Hit needed
0 5%
1 5.5%
2 6%
3 8%

Expertise pushes your target's Dodge and Parry off the combat table. Melee DPS only need to push Dodge off the table as mobs can't parry attacks from behind, but tanks will need to worry about Parry. Expertise used to be really good for mitigation, as some bosses would gain a haste-buff any time they parried an attack, which gave tanks an incentive to stack Expertise, but that mechanic was taken out of the game and is no longer a factor. Expertise is purely for threat now.

The amount of expertise you need is the same for any mobs of a level higher than yours, but basically, 26 Expertise is the magical number you're looking for to kick Dodge off the table. Chasing the Parry cap is a loosing game and not worth the effort.

Okay, so why did you put that Hit chart up there?

Because you need to consider your environment, and what kind of threat output you need for that environment. The only mobs that need 8% hit are raid bosses. No other mobs in the game need 8% hit. Even heroic dungeon bosses are only level 87.

Why is this important? Get to the point, man!

Sorry, I tend to ramble. Unless you're tanking a farm raid-night to get through all of Tier 11 in 2.5 hours, you (generally) never need to worry about threat on a raid boss. Even if you don't have a hunter or rogue to give you Misdirects or Tricks, you should be able to have the raid sit on their hands for 5 to 10 seconds and with Wings, Inquisition and a small bit of luck, build up a solid lead before DPS goes nuts.

However, when you're clearing trash, when you're in a heroic dungeon, once you get some raid gear, build that threat set and use it.

So let's get set up for tanking dungeons and trash like threat kings.

A Hit cap of 6% means you need 720.65 hit rating. That isn't too much and honestly with items like Soul Blade, Elementium Earthguard, Retribution Tier pants, or even the Valor Hit trinket you can easily get there without giving up a lot of mitigation.

Paladins have it easy with Expertise. Glyph of Seal of Truth gives us an amazing 10 Expertise rating right off the bat. That's almost half the expertise you need total, from one glyph. You should always have this on. The rest you can get with some items here and there, or if you're feeling gutsy, with a Heart of Ragefrom Chimaeron.

The nice thing about those trinkets, is that they have a random on-equip strength boost which is also a very nice thing to have kick in now and again to give your threat and damage output a nice kick in the pants.

One more thing - Glyphs and Talents.

If you're mostly only doing dungeons, you probably don't need Glyph of Word of Glory. You can safely swap it out for Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous. This one glyph will boost your DPS output to amazing levels on AoE mobs.

And again, if you're mostly doing dungeons and don't expect to raid tank, make your talent spec something like this (0/31/10). It gives you everything you need for AoE tanking and pushes your threat stats up front and center. Keep in mind you're giving up a fair amount of Word of Glory utility so you'll need to be on your toes with survival cool downs.

If I didn't use my off-spec for Retribution all the time, I'd run with two protection specs. (This goes into another rant about why Blizzard need to remove the spec-cap, but that's a different story)

So, you have your threat set. You've changed your glyphs and talents, and you're ready fro that bear run. Right? Well, before you head out, check a few things first.

Make sure your healer is okay with this. If a healer is under-geared, the slightly increased damage you take could make things messy, especially since you won't have WoG to fall back on. When you do get into a scuffle, play defensively - use Holy Shield wisely, and be careful not to over-pull. I would run this with a guildy healer or someone I know before doing the LFG thing with it.

I tested mine this weekend with the amazing Vidyala healing me (I love the cross-realm grouping with the Battle.Net system so much!) and have been using it ever since for everything but raid bosses. I ended that experimental Z'A run even with the DPS on damage done and had absolutely little trouble with threat. And I was pulling like mad on that run, as it turned into a spontaneous bear-run with 2 PuGs and no vent, and we still managed to get to Lynx boss with 2 minutes on the timer (but didn't make it).

Anyway. That's how I went about making a threat set and I'm loving it. If you do something similar, have any thoughts or try any of this in the field, please let me know, I'd love to tweak or change things around to optimize this in any way possible!

Good luck out there. :-)

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