Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Paladin as Add Tanks

A couple of A'lar attempts last week got me thinking about paladin tanks again. Basically, if I were specced Protection, I would be a much better add tank than a warrior or a druid.

Ironically, this is because I can control the adds from range. Rather than chasing them down and then moving them into position, I could use Righteous Defense and Avenger's Shield to bring them to me. This is an amusing power, considering that paladins are the most melee-centric of all the classes.

The paladin's high, front-loaded threat also allows DPS to burn down adds faster. I don't think most adds deal crushing blows, so you could gear for spelldamage and stamina. Not to mention that we are hands-down the best AoE tank.

However, a paladin tank would still be much worse than a warrior/druid for tanking the main boss, or even building threat as an off-tank. Is being the best add tank enough? Is it worth bringing one paladin tank over a warrior or druid tank?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well I do not think it's only adds. There have been a certain number of paladin tanks that were able to tank bosses in SSC and the Eye. Things even get better in Hyjal and BT apparently.

Yes we are missing some stuff and items. But even with that, dedicated paladin tanks can do a great job in these instances.

Patch 2.3 will add some interesting stuff that will equilize things in the tanking department. But the biggest obstacle to paladin tanks will always be guilds that do not want to change anything.

Remember people, this is an evolving game. Strategies, talents and raid composition will evolve over time. The best player in their role (notice I did not say class) will be able to get up there and shine on each of the level of content. Be it Karazhan or Black Temple.

GSH said...

I'm sort of assuming that your guild already has competant, well-geared warriors and druids.

Is it worth adding a Protection Paladin to your tank stable, solely to tank adds?

rachael said...

We carry one, but he's the distant 4th choice for most tanking, under 2 warriors & a druid. We use him for trash a lot, with the ranged taunt to help control things, and, of course, for those damn merlocs on tidewalker.

It's frustrating to have him be so, dare I say, useless, on the rest of things. His healing is ok, but he's last in line for healing gear, so his holy set is pathetic, his DPS is wet-noodle unless he's being hit... I loved being a prot pali, but they still need some love. And certainly i wouldn't want him MTing for us, fulltime.

Anonymous said...

Well last week we got a protection paladin in our guild and while it's nice to have him for that specific trash, our regular tanks did the rest like usual and on bosses he was put back and healed so making him pretty much a *wasted spot* for anything but those trash packs, sadly, which are more then doable without a prot pala.

Dazanna said...

My guild uses a pally tank for the adds on Al'ar just like you suggested, and I can say that it works very well. Between Avenger's Shield, Righteous Defense, and the odd Misdirect makes the adds a very small problem.

In my opinion its best to take all three types of tanks to raids. Each one brings something useful to the table. Pally tanks can produce threat much faster than warriors and druids (due to a full mana bar at the beginning of a fight vs. an empty rage bar and easier threat scaling with spell damage) and are the single best AoE tanks hands down.

There are problems with pally tanks, mainly the lower base health than warriors and the difficulty reaching uncrushable levels as compared to a warrior, but in general I think that they are a viable raid choice.

As we have seen through TBC so far, prot is being continually buffed and tweaked, and especially as you begin to move into bleeding-edge content the gear becomes excellent for protection pallys, not to mention the large AoE trash pulls and bosses that take great advantage of the prot pally's strengths.

Of course, as we see by the two above posts, a lot of guilds still have problems accepting the fact that there are 3 viable types of tanks now. I wouldn't force a holy pally to respc for one fight, but if there is someone interested who is willing to get or has the gear I would strongly encourage it.

And to the above poster, have you ever seen a prot warrior have any other utility outside of tanking? At least a prot pally can take off the shield and heal when it is absolutely needed, along with the blessings and judgements that he brings to the raid to begin with. IMO, taking 3 prot warriors is much more of a *waste* of raid spots than 2 warriors and a prot pally. I also strongly discourage guild from forcing prot pallys to heal in the first place unless its needed, they can be nearly as good of a main tank as a warrior in many situations and should be given the chance to do so.

gt said...

It is valuable now? Maybe not?

But depending on the patch 2.3 changes and other future changes... who knows?

I for one rather be an occasional bring on certain runs than have to respec Holy. I think there are some Paladins who might feel the same way?

Whether it is worth it to a guild to keep such a person... Meh? Maybe if they have a lvl 70 warrior tank alt? Switch depending on the situation? In the spirit of fun and cooperation?

Anonymous said...

Dazanna, are you actually saying that we should get a medocrine healer that can tank for 1 or 2 trash packs on a whole evening rather then a full fledged healer and let the other tanks handle it with abit less efficiency?

Galoheart said...

Dazanna says "In my opinion its best to take all three types of tanks to raids. Each one brings something useful to the table".

gt says "It is valuable now? Maybe not?

But depending on the patch 2.3 changes and other future changes... who knows?"


Only way to know is to try a Good Protection Paladin and see I would guess. Only way to know anything is to try it. But how may raid given the norm will want to deviate from the norm and try anything different. Then again how many Good Protection Paladin in Good gear will want to wait around to just tank adds? Given they may be in good gear i'm sure they would rather be tanking something actually i would prefer to guess.

Thus i can only imagine probably the ones you may have may be in less than ideal gear if invited ocassionally or often and low on getting gear if that and feeling useless maybe. Though it can seem to be a possible good idea to have one. It will most likely be frustrating for that protection paladin to be there i can only assume.

GSH said...

You might bring a Protection paladin solely for the third blessing, depending on how your healing crew is set up.

For example, Blood Legion of Illidan runs with 2 paladin healers. But they bring a Retribution paladin (Grant) along for the third blessing, even though his other DPS/utility is lower than most other characters.

I could see doing the same thing, but using a Protection Paladin. It would also grant Sanctuary as a third blessing for some classes.

Galoheart said...

That's true. Can be usefull to a raid to have another P.Paladin to even if their there for adds maybe. Though maybe not ideal, can add a extra set of blessings or extra Judgement on mob as they can easily take the hit running in to do so when needed.

Dazanna said...

As a response to the person who isn't logging in, I think you should bring a prot pally to tank. A prot pally is a tank, not some half-made OT as you make it out to be, and therefore he should be filling the spot of a tank in the raid, not a healer. If your guild is so desperate for healers that you're forcing an off-spec player to do it you should just have the player go holy to begin with. Forcing a prot pally to heal is the same as telling a Feral Druid to heal, it goes against their spec and is destroying their utility.

If you're using the typical BC raid setup with 3-4 tanks you should have no problem subbing out a warrior tank for a prot pally on most fights. I'm not sure what endgame content (if any) you've seen since you don't seem to have a name, but a very successful setup my guild runs with at the moment is 2 warriors, 1 feral druid, and 1 protection paladin. On fights/trash where you need numerous tanks you have the number and utility (AoE/undead tanking for the pally), while on bosses you can have the feral go cat while the pally and warriors MT/OT.

Your problem seems to be that you are expecting the prot pally to heal. THAT IS NOT HIS JOB. Prot pallys are tanks, and especially as you begin to move into bleeding-edge content you will learn that having one along for trash and even bosses, specifically every boss fight in TK (Void Reaver because of insane aggro generation, Al'ar and Astromancer for adds, and phase 2 of Kael) and a few in SSC (Tidewalker and Fathom-Lord specifically), makes fights much easier for everyone.

Karl said...

Here's a question... what the heck do I do with my 65 pally?...

I'm in the shards of what used to be a good guild. I DON'T have time to raid, nor the consistent time slot. Only 3 active folks in the guild now, so it's basically all-pug, all the time.

Right now he's a shockadin spec, as I hit a wall grinding solo as prot at 65. But I don't really like this either.

It seems that soloing a pally past 65 is a nightmare.

I really don't know what to do with him, and as such, haven't even played him for a month. If there wasn't so much time invested, I'd be tempted to delete him.

Any thoughts?...

And, a bonus question. When the next expansion hits, is anyone concerned that DKs will replace both warriors and pallys as tanks?...

Halad said...

i think what most people are forgetting is that a spell damage 1h and a holy spec build is nearly as good as a prot spec for tanking a'lar and other adds. you can still get +8% armor as a 41/20 healbot spec, and wearing heal PLATE provides most of the defensive capability you'll need. not to mention you can just heal yourself after shock/judge/cons.

you really only need to spec prot for tanking high hp monsters that crush. everything else can be handled nearly as well by a 41/20 paladin. thats the issue with paladin tanking. you give up so much healing for so little gain as a tank, barring crushes. and even then are the last in line choice due to various factors

i would say druids make the best offtanks, one spec for dps and tanking. easy to switch between the two. furor+feral charge combined with misdirect should handle errant adds at range. druids offer large amounts of utility via (i)lotp and the ability to dps relatively well in tank gear.

prot warriors and prot paladins both suffer greatly in their non tanking roles, where druids sacrifice far less. i guess this post comes off as negative, i do really wish for paladins to be good MT's, but all those successful guilds in BT/HYJAL with paladin MT's could be doing better with a warrior. warriors have higher hp, higher mitigation, interrupts, aspd+AP debuffs, hp buffs, and panic buttons. not to mention sunder armor, which while less of a factor in 25 mans, frees up combo points rogues need to use for expose armor with a paladin tank. a good example of what i mean is that warriors are able to reach passive uncrushability by gemming for it with BT/HYJAL gear, while sacrificing less hp than the difference between paladins and warriors. at that point it is nearly meaningless to bring a paladin tank, even with mitigation factors put aside.

big hopes for 2.3 :(

Dazanna said...

Remember though that a prot pally has 3 things that a warrior will never have:

1. Amazing threat scaling with gear. In BT/Hyjal warrior tanks are forced to spam Heroic Strike in order to mantain aggro, and even then it can be very tenuous due to the fact that the main warrior tanking skills are affected (threat-wise) by the attack power of their weapon (Devastate, Heroic Strike) or their shield block value (Shield Slam). It is much harder to get your Devi/HS hit harder for more threat for a warrior than it is for a pally to get his SoV to tick for an extra 10. Pallys can swap in and out spell damage easily (mainly in the weapon slot) depending on how hard the dps is pushing their threat. Need more threat? Swap in the S2 Gladiator Gavel and watch your TSP skyrocket. DPS hanging back? Go ahead and equip that King's Defender for the mitigation.

2. Due to the fact that Shield Block is basically a free uncrushable, warriors need less base avoidance to reach 102.5% and thus you find most of them simply stacking stamina from there. As a result of needing more passive dodge/block/parry to reach uncrushable pallys will have much higher base avoidance. This means that in the unlikely event HS/SB goes down before the CD is up in general a pally will be dodging/blocking/parrying more than the typical warrior.

3. Once you've reached 102.5% Holy Shield is hands down better than Shield Block. With 8 charges over 10 seconds the chances of it going down are very low, and it turns mitigation into aggro thanks to the damage = threat generated both by Holy Shield and Righteous Fury.

Yes, pallys don't have armor reducing abilities or inturrupts, but ideally in a 25 man you will have rogues or warriors doing both anyway. As for an "Oh Shit" button, LoH isn't terrible (and is much better than Frenzied Rejuv).

Halad said...

dazanna

for #1 sure, but warriors generate very sufficient TPS as it is. barring some future EXTREME dps fight, paladin main tank threat scaling is really only useful for farm content. survivability>threat in most cases, as a dead MT is most certainly a wipe. dps going "all out" to start really isnt going to save your raid from the greater likelihood of a spike damage kil on a paladin tank. HS is simply used as a rage dump when other moves are on cooldown. a well geared warrior can maintain something like 900-1000 TPS. this means dps needs to be doing over 1400dps sustained to pull aggro, assuming they never use any threat wipes(invis/shatter/vanish/etc). paladins tend to tout their threat scaling, but many do not understand how warrior threat scales. as additional hit/weaponskill are added to tank gear, warrior threat increases as well. devastate/white damage scales with 1h weapon dps scaling. shield slam is an incredible aggro tool that pretty much keeps warrior aggro acceptably high.

every point of spell damage is worth roughly .5 TPS in a perfect no resist/everything up situation for a paladin.

to compare, one block value is worth 0.235 threat per sec assuming an average sundered boss target, and it far cheaper budgetwise.

#2 - a warrior has 5% more passive block, so given equal gear and gems, the warrior is still avoiding more damage, beyond defensive stance. i dont understand your point, as warriors choose to gem stam because it is better than avoidance for hard hitting bosses. they could no doubt choose to gem as much avoidance as paladins. taken to an extreme example, a 90% dodge tank with 1000 hp is far less reliabe than a 9000 hp tank with 10% dodge, even though they will die in the same amount of time given a large enough sample of 1 damage hits. avoidance saves mana, stamina saves lives.

#3 - absolutely not. imp SB blocks less attacks for sure, but its duration is longer than its cooldown. combined with being unlinked to global, it means SB will never be down due to buff expiration given a comptent warrior tank. HS is linked to global, and its duration is exactly that of the cooldown. this means you have a window lasting roughly your ping of where you can be crushed. warriors do not suffer this limitation. a geared warrior tank will generally never see crushes, as he is very likely to parry/dodge/miss enough to never be caught without SB up. this is not to mention warriors can reach passive uncrushability. for dualwielding monsters, paladins have a decent advantage.
loh is somewhat comparable to shield wall, and is good as an emergency button. druids do get the short end of the stick, but last stand really takes the cake. 30% hp on 1/5-7~th the cooldown of LoH.

if stam ever goes to some ridiculous amount, ardent defender will become the paladin savior, but i cannot imagine blizzard devising encounters where bosses do not kill your tank in more than 4 hits, barring the dualwield exception above. in this case ardent defender is too unreliable.

i forgot to also mention spell reflect as one of those niche tank moves that can really make a difference in encounters. requiem of souls for example. silence effects also are devastating to paladin TPS, where warriors do not have that problem.

Dazanna said...

I would like to point out that every dps player in this game should be able to pull aggro off their tank at any time if they know what they're doing. Tanking is not about "holding aggro" anymore, its about making enough aggro for an extended period of time so that the dps doesn't have to gimp themselves to remain underneath the tank. A pally's strongest point is that if they have the gear they can easily produce 20-30% more tps than an equivilent warrior, which means your dps can open up that much more and the boss dies that much faster. And before you start bringing resists in remember that a warrior using a 1handed sword has a very high miss chance, and even all its specials will have an 8%, so they are at as much of a disadvantage.

My point in #2 is that if you take base values of an uncrushable pally and warrior (lets assume for arguments sake that they're in full T6/141 armor, which puts them both at basically uncrushable) the paladin will have much more avoidance than the warrior, especially when SB/HS are down (which does happen) because he needs to stack dodge/block in order to reach uncrushable, meaning their base avoidance will be higher than that of a warrior. AKA, a pally will typically have more of a chance of avoiding the crushings when SB/HS is down than a warrior, who will eat them.

Yes, there is a problem with the current system of Holy Shield's cooldown, but if you look at high end bosses you start to see a lot of duel wielding bosses or bosses that attack very quickly with abilities. To take an early raid example, Tidewalker's Earthquake ability eats the charges of Shield Block, and even with your 5 second cooldown you will eat crushings while the block is down. Not only do pallys get more charges (and a huge ammount of aggro from mitigation, the only comparable warrior ability being revenge) as well as a good chance that redoubt will proc, so even after the HS goes down there are still 5 more charges of 30% more block. I wouldn't call it a "decent advantage", its pretty much blowing warriors out of the water against fast bosses or multiple enemies.

I agree that there are certain fights a pally tank isn't good at. Then of course, there are fights a warrior tank isn't good it (hai2u twinemps). Thats why I always say that bringing at least 1 of each class can never go wrong.

And I would like to point out 2 more unique abilities that pallys get over a warrior. For starters, our taunt is ranged. This can make a huge difference on fights such as Al'ar and Leo where there are adds running to the opposite sides of the room or there are threat wipes right after a whirlwind. Secondly, Avenging Wrath is one of the best tanking abilities available for TPS. As you won't be bubbling while tanking and therefore not worried about forebearance its a great tool easpecially at the beginning of fights so that the dps can start out that much harder.

napalm415 said...

Granted, pally tanks have their problems. The Holy Shield duration = to Holy Shield Cooldown issue is annoying to say the least. It's something that I expect to be fixed in the 2.3 patch, as I don't think the "I got crushed due to my ISP" is part of Blizzard's Class balancing. But even so, even assuming 500ms latency (.5secs) is it better to be vulnerable for half a second if redoubt isn't up (which is up a higher percent of the time as attack speed increases) than always be vulnerable to crush? I'd take that window every day of the week including Sundays.

I can go on all day extolling the deficiencies of tankadins. Lower Base HP, more itemization required, lack of mana/rage generation, no spell interrupt, vulnerability to mana burn, no fear break, no movement powers, vulnerable to latency... Many of the fights cater to the reactive abilities that only warriors have, which I think Bliz is now realizing. Too many fights have timed fears, or rely on steady spell interrupts or reflects. Gear wise, much of the pally gear item budgets are spent with a bit of schizophrenia.

However, I think the biggest thing that is hurting the identity of those who want to brave the flames (literal and figurative) and do the tanking paladin game is the self-fulfilling expectation of the guilds that support that support them of inferiority. I fought tooth and claw to get my chance and even though I'm an officer now I still have to "prove" to people that I'm as good if not better than some of the other warrior tanks. Specially new recruits. Because of this notion, pallys are forced into positions of weakness, like as an OT (which paladins are worse than rogues at), or end up getting only the tank gear that no other tanks want, which makes them undergeared. When pallys fail at doing what the warriors do, it only reinforces the idea of inferior pally tanks.

Now, if you get of set of people who are willing to expand their thinking and exploit the strengths of pally tanks, you get cool things like single tanking all of moroes tanks, or tanking Al'ar's ads rather than dpsing them down in phase 2.

In general, good pally tanks work twice as hard and and catch twice the crap as warriors. Many warriors don't understand how good they have it; most people simply defer to "brown" as being superior without contention.

Tankadin dies.
Raid Leader: We need a real tank. Lets get a warrior.
Raid: But... he's a fury warrior.
Raid Leader: Whatever, he's a warrior. Warriors are the best tanks.

Warrior dies.
Raid Leader: Where were the healz!

/facepalm

Halad said...

While yes, paladin tanks can offer higher TPS, a tank with significantly less survivability and additional threat is far less desirable EXCEPT for dps fights that I did already mention. Dead tank is an automatic wipe. Its very rare for a lack of dps due to threat to play a significant role. Even if a warrior cannot generate sufficient threat for "all out dps", most dpsers have methods to drop aggro and from then on out can just go all out. The difference in threat gain is 20%, the difference in actual dps is probably less than 5% depending on the fight's length.

Your argument for greater paladin avoidance makes no sense. A warrior can achieve what you say by gemming avoidance while remaining above paladin hp. In BT/hyjal gear is isnt even really necessary for paladins to gem avoidance to avoid crushes. See here - http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Eredar&n=Lore
The only times he uses anything but stam gems is to hit socket bonuses.

What I meant to say about hit was that paladins need melee hit for their seal threat, and spell hit for their spells. Their spells can be partial resisted as well due to boss level(holy is binary, I know.) Warrior specials do not suffer this limitation, that is, shield slam, HS, Devastate, cannot glancing blow. A paladin requires 8% spell hit AND 8% melee hit to reach such an ideal situation, while a warrior only requires 8% melee hit. Its just more item points wasted to accommodate for broken paladin tanking mechanics.

Twin emps is a bad example where warriors do not flourish, as this is more or less between the "official" tanking classes of druids warriors and paladins. There are far more fights where paladins are at a significant disadvantage than those with an advantage. Maiden progression, Requiem of Souls, Any Silence, Any Mana drain/burn, any fear, any spell reflect, any spell damage dealing boss.

The problem with the ranged taunt is that unless the adds are ridiculously strong, its much more efficient(raid composition wise) to just have a healer paladin use his taunt so a warrior can pick it up off him. Also, using RD/AS/HS/Judge will likely reduce your mana pool to zero within 2 or 3 rounds as a prot paladin. Then your aggro goes down to zero with no way to recover. This is the main problem with paladins as offtanks. Sure they can frontload threat but then what? You run out of steam and have no way to continue building threat.

Your main points seem to be higher avoidance(false), better tps(true), better dps making up for paladin tank disadvantages(false), and a reduced chance to be crushed(true). As a (sometimes)paladin tank myself I've seen firsthand that it is far, far easier to just let a warrior tank. Blizzard recognizes these problems too, as paladin tanks are getting some buffs in 2.3.

Joshe said...

Not all holy dmg is binary. It just seems thay way because no players have resistance to it, so it's never partially resisted except by higher level mobs.

Another example of high end tanking gear is here(may be in healing gear depending):
http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Sargeras&n=Joshe

Anonymous said...

Most of the problems claimed against prot pally's is due to lack of understanding how one operates. Prot pallys can reach uncrushable with significant armor and HP. Yes a warrior will appear to have more HP than a pally, however, a proper prot pally will have the Ardent Defender talent maxed (when you have less then 35% health, all damage taken is reduced by 30%). Treat this as an artificial extension of HP and pally's HP starts to look a bit bigger. As far as requiring +Hit to maintain aggro or front load it, this is not required. I have tanked bosses with no weapon due to it being broken. I maintained the aggro by reactive means (retribution aura, holy shield, and blessing of sanctuary) and through the use of consecration of judging righteousness. All +Hit does is make it easier to maintain aggro or regen mana when I use seal of wisdom.
Plus, a pally tank can and should carry a healing set when raiding. On bosses where you do not require an extra tank, they can still accomplish decent to good healing. Most prot warriors even in DPS gear can only produce mediocre DPS.

macason said...

I'm in a casual raiding guild and thus far have only cleared up to the curator that being said I have reached active uncrushable and have 102.4% avoidance with around 15k HP raid buffed.

This with only 2 drops from Kara;
1. Bracers from Attumen
2. T4 gloves from Curator

That being said, having a look at the general standard of tanks at about the same point in kara I think Im doing just fine (The guild is happy enough), but I would say getting the avoidence up has been the biggest hurdle, but worth it in the end.

I also volunteer to offheal while the offtank holds maiden for the blessing of sacrafice "stun breaks" and she has turned into a 0% effort fight because of it.

I guess what Im trying to say is;
We can do it if you give us a chance but ..... dont ask them to tank then spend all your time try to pull agro off them to prove that they arent any good ..... If everyone does their job things work out great.

Anonymous said...

Listen to ll the pre-BC anti noobs! I am a post BC noob and my main is a pally tank. My spec is boss and uncrushable aoe tanking is me all over. If Im put up against demons or undead my holy spells taunt best. I can easily main tank Kara and have moved into ZA and Mags. Threat? HAH! Up your spelldam after uncrushable. Oh, and by the way, as soon as wrath of the lich king comes out, the playing field is leveled out and Ill see you all in the queues looking for "PROT PALLY TANK PST" lol