- Block Value: The amount of bonus block value on all items has been doubled. This does not affect the base block value on shields or block value derived from strength.
- On-Use Block Value Items: All items and set bonuses that trigger temporary increases to block value have been modified. Instead of increasing their block value amount by 100% like other items, they have all had their effect durations doubled. This applies to Glyph of Deflection, Gnomeregan Autoblocker, Coren's Lucky Coin, Lavanthor's Talisman, Libram of Obstruction, Tome of the Lightbringer, Libram of the Sacred Shield, the tier-8 paladin Shield of Righteousness bonus, the tier-5 paladin Holy Shield bonus, and the tier-5 warrior Shield Block bonus.
- Blessing of Sanctuary: This blessing now also increases stamina by 10%. This effect is not cumulative with Blessing of Kings.
- Righteous Fury: No longer has a duration or mana cost, remaining until cancelled or death. Also cancelled when a Paladin activates a different talent specialization.
- Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption: These seals have been redesigned to deal substantially more damage. Now, once a paladin has 5 copies of the debuff from these seals on his or her target, on each swing the paladin will deal 33% weapon damage as Holy, with critical strikes dealing double damage.
- Shield of Righteousness: Now deals 100% of shield block value as damage instead of 130%.
- Ardent Defender: Redesigned. Currently, any damage taken by the paladin while at 35% health or below is reduced. Instead, any attack that would reduce the paladin to 35% health or below has its damage reduced. In addition, once every 2 minutes an attack that would have killed the paladin will fail to kill, and instead set the paladin's health to 10/20/30% of maximum.
- Vindication: Redesigned. Now lowers target attack power, is consistent and does not stack with Demoralizing Shout.
Blocking becomes a bit better, though Shield of Righteousness is nerfed slightly. The real problem with Block though, is that it just isn't as attractive as Avoidance.
Blessing of Sanctuary
I guess Blizzard is trying to set up a system where the first paladin does Kings+Sanctuary, while the second paladin does Might+Wisdom. This change does solidify Sanctuary the priority blessing for tanks. To be honest, the real issue is that Greater Blessings are done on a per-class basis, but the desired order depends on the specific spec. The real problem with Sanctuary is that it makes handing out Blessings more of a hassle.
Actually, you know what might be cool--but possibly overpowered--is if Sanctuary wasn't a separate Blessing, but rather an Improved Blessing of Kings. If you had the Sanctuary talent, your Blessing of Kings gives the 3% damage reduction. It's potentially too good, but this would make handing out Blessings so much easier.
This is a major change. I think the "unleapfrogable" nature of the new Ardent Defender is possibly too good. It's the equivalent of just getting 10% more health. I'd be somewhat surprised if this went Live as is.
The automatic Avoid Death is cool. The only issue I can see is not knowing whether the effect is available or on cooldown. This could be important for coordinating external cooldowns. If the effect is on cooldown, you might need to call for a Hand of Sacrifice to survive a burst of damage.
Righteous Fury becomes more stance-like. Seal of Vengeance becomes stronger, but this is balanced by the Shield of Righteousness nerf. The Vindication change allows a Prot paladin debuff the mob, freeing up a warrior or warlock to do more DPS.
Overall, Protection doesn't change that much. Blocking becomes a bit stronger, a Protection Paladin effectively gets more health, and she obtains a new cooldown and debuff. Coupled with the Death Knight nerfs, this should leave paladins in a decent position.