Monday, July 09, 2007

Seal of Vengeance

I was playing around with the damage meter mod Recount today. It's pretty slick actually, and even has pie charts.

In any case, I fired up Seal of Vengeance while working on the quest "Banish the Demons" in Ogri'la. I was comparing the newly fixed SoV with Seal of Righteousness. I have to say that I really don't understand SoV. It seems to be doing far less damage than SoR. According to the meters, I averaged around 215 DPS when using SoV, and 290 DPS with SoR. That's a huge difference!

The Horde seal, Seal of Blood, at least fills a different niche than any other damage Seal. It provides consistent damage based on Attack Power. Seal of Command provides burst damage based on Attack Power, while SoV and SoR both seem to provide consistent damage based on Spell Power.

SoV and SoR both occupy the same niche. As such, I don't really see any case where you would use SoV over SoR. And because my weapon was fast, SoV was inconsistent in its application, and would sometimes even just drop off the target, even when I was just auto-attacking.

I'm sure that SoV could be buffed to be better than SoR, but even then that creates a problem. SoV is either better or worse than SoR. You only ever need to use one Seal.

Quite honestly, I think Blizzard should just drop Seal of Vengeance and give all paladins Seal of Blood. SoR already fills SoV's niche, and Seal of Blood would give all paladins another weapon in their arsenal.


  1. ive never played a pally, but your blog explains things so well i feel like id know what to do if i ever rolled one.

    anyway, thanks for correcting my awful math on my slice and dice post. at least my intentions were good :)

  2. Hmm. How did you test this? I (holy Paladin) usually open with SoV until it has 5 applications, judge it and fire up SoR, unless I get particularly unlucky with SoV in which case I judge it earlier.
    That way you get both SoV and SoR damage at the same time. When judgement is up again I judge SoR and go back to SoV, should the mob still live.
    Shocks, Excorcisms, Consecration and all that shenanigans happen in between judgements of course.

    SoV vs SoR tested singularly should see SoR far ahead, but combined I think (hope) you get even more dps than from SoR alone. Please tell me if I'm anywhere near the truth.


  3. Seal of Blood doesn't fit lore-wise for alliance Paladins.

    SoR and SoV do fill the same niche, but there are times when I combine them while tanking.

    I judge SoR to gain some initial aggro, then switch to SoV until I have a full stack, then judge it and switch back to SoR until SoV finishes ticking away.

    Then I repeat the process as much as is necessary.

  4. I'm not certain, but I believe that in a very long fight, SoV might have the advantage? Once there are five applications of it up, every new application will refresh them, so eventually you'll go a long time with the full five ticking away. Obviously this doesn't mean much against a mob that's going to go down fairly fast - in my experience with using a big, slow two-hander against similar level mobs, if I bring most of my firepower to bear, the mob goes down before the five-stack of vengeance gets to tick for very long. Assuming no +spell damage, the tick alone should do 50 DPS, and each tick gets 17% of your +spell damage. While I can't crunch the math, that might mean that as a fight gets longer, SoV gets better. (Do paladin tanks use SoV?)

  5. Seal of Vengeance is basically a Pally Sunder for tanking. Great for boss fights.

    Alliance got a better tanking Seal, while Horde got what suppose to be a better dps seal (but lacking IMHO)

  6. tenryuu, I used to think of SoV as the paladin sunder, but then I tried using it. It has a tendency to not refresh, making it unreliable. If I could count on it staying 5-stacked while I'm constantly attacking the target, then I would probably use it. However, as it stand right now, I need something consistent and reliable.

    However, I don't really want Seal of Blood. Sacrificing health for damage seems very... well... un-paladin-like. I'll leave that to the imposters (Blood Elves)

    70 Human Paladin, Runetotem server

  7. I was killing those demons at the north forge camp. I was using Sword and Shield with about 650 spell damage. Judge Crusader, Seal up, Judge when I can. Throw in Exorcism and Holy Shock when they are up.

    SoV might possible have higher if the fights were longer. But I usually had a 5-stack for at least half the fight (sword/board, so a bit slower than 2H). I doubt it's going to make up 75 DPS. Not to mention that it fell off a fair amount, even though I was always attacking.

    I don't think it's getting 17% per application. The full 5-stack might be getting 17%.

    Also, even for tanking I wouldn't use this Seal. Righteousness works just as well, and the extra DPS is pure holy damage. It doesn't provide any advantages over Righteousness.

  8. It's been my understanding (not based on any personal testing, of course) that each tick of SoV gets 17% of your spell damage regardless of how deep it's stacked. Not actually positive, though.

    (For what it's worth, I rarely level alone, so fights are far too short for me to even consider using SoV.)

  9. As a Holy Paladin I gave up on getting any DPS from SoV very soon after 2.1 went live. I’m a raid healer and have based my solo’ing DPS around Seal of Righteousness, with 5 points in Improved SoR and lucky enough to run around with Legacy from Kara (Which I rolled greed on when it had Int) I manage around 350 – 480 white damage and 400-500 holy damage with SoR per swing.

    However if I switch my 2H’er for a Sword and Board (gaining a lazy 150 ish more spell damage) SoR provides a mediocre 130 dmg per swing because of weapon speed. Therefore I find SoV more optimal for ‘Holy’ tanking and believe it the superior Seal for this usage – a strong tab targeter can keep this up on 2 or 3 targets making it even more useful for Tanking.

  10. The biggest problem with SoV is if you do it with a 1H weapon, as you noted, it will fall off.

    SoV is a 20 PPM seal, which if you do a quick bit of math means that any weapon with a 3.0 speed or higher has a 100% chance to proc per swing. With a good 2H, such as the Torn-heart Axe of Battle or your Gorehowl, it will proc every swing (still can miss and still can get resisted). When combined with a good 2H that's able to keep it up full time I would be willing to bet that it's DPS (when combined with the DPS from the judgments) is close to, if not better than SoV.

    Also, there are no level 65-70 1H weapon that has a weapon speed of 3.0 or slower. I checked. As a result it's DPS when used with a 1H weapon will be lacking due to Holy Vengeance falling off your target. This lowers damage done both from the seal and from the judgment.

    As a Protection Tank I very rarely find a good justification to use SoV, since it's unpredictable with my fast weapons. I need to know I'm going to be generating threat at a steady rate, and SoR does that.

  11. When combined with a good 2H that's able to keep it up full time I would be willing to bet that it's DPS (when combined with the DPS from the judgments) is close to, if not better than SoV.

    That was supposed to end with "if not better than SoR" not SoV. >.>

  12. I always end up having to fight for aggro when using SoV vs. the easy mode that SoR is for me.

    It never works out as advertised as mentioned by a few posters here. It's just too damned unreliable with a fast 1h, and if you're not using a fast 1h as a paladin tank, you're doing something very strange :)

  13. SoV is primarly a tanking seal. Prot palis have to spam the higher lvls of consecration in order to keep agro, and coupled w/ dropping Righteous Bombs on 4 targets over and over, your mp drops very quickly...and as we all know no mp = no good. now pali raid tanking is a joke, but for 5 mans, 1.9-2.1 weapon speed (to help w/ proc rate) consecration, ret aura, JoW and SoV = dominant agro w/ minimal mp expense. i loved using SoV.

    70 Shock Trooper
    Njål, Wildhammer

  14. In the patch notes they are changing seal of vengence to a longer duration so it doesnt suddenly drop of your target anymore.

    At the moment I mostly use SoV when fighting rogues just to surprise them with the rarely used pally DoT ability.

  15. SoV is getting buffed now, so that when you already have a stack of five on your enemy and get a proc, you get instant holy damage instead (while keeping your stack).

    SoV has one use in PVP, dotting rogues (and druids), forcing them to blow Cloak of Shadows to vanish, restealth or bandage.

    While I've never tested it (I don't have an alliance paladin above lvl 26), SoV might be better when combined with Reckoning, as you get a lot more chances to proc. However, for tanking it can't be allowed to seriously outperform SoR, or rather shouldn't, because that'll make alliance paladins better at tanking than horde paladins (blood elves).

    SoB is a strange seal... It scales well with AP, but when would you use it? The only time I can figure is if you're not retribution-specced and stack AP like hell for soloing or PVP. Personally, I walk around with some +dam/heal gear, and that doesn't scale SoB at all. Then there's the health cost...

    There are very, very few lvl 70 blood elf paladins out there with SoB on their hotbars.

  16. I completely disagree, Seal of Blood is bad and should be removed. I have played both an alliance and a horde paladin, and SoB is bad. SoC is better for burst damage. SoC does also get increased damage from +spelldamage gear. SoB is only based on your attack power & raw weapon damage.

    Which means you would have to sacrifice spelldamage & int, which is good for all your other offensive abilities as well as healing.

    In addition comes that SoB cannot crit. Which means less chance to proc Vengance.

  17. I use seal of vengeance often when tanking. The trick is not to start off with it. Open up with Avenger Shield, judge crusader, and put up SoR, judge SoR once, then SoR for a bit until reckoning goes off, switch to SOV, you should rapidly get 5 applications. Judge SoV whenever you can while keeping Holy Shield active. You should be generating enough threat at that point to easily hold the mob. At this point I just watch the threat meters and my mana bar. If I need to generate more threat, I'll start concecrating and judging SoV every 8 seconds; if I'm having mana problems, then I'll quickly judge seal of wisdom, and slow down my judgments of SoV.
    The nice thing about SoV is almost always hits the boss, and if he kicks you, or blinds you, the SoV still ticks away. The judgment of SoV with 5 applications is also much better then the SoR judgment.

  18. Typically if you're a pure tankadin your gear turns into a very warrior like set or strength, stamina and defense to become uncrushable. If you have more melee stats than caster stats, Seal of Blood pulls ahead of SoR for damage.

    Also the damage done by SoB is tiny, not much more than a tickle.

    We Blood Elves like that.

  19. This may change, the notes for the next patch state that SoV will now do instant holy damage upon striking one you have a stack of five. We'll see if it makes it into the game.

    quite interesting, is it not?

  20. Regardless of the upcoming changes, SoV just isn't suitable for raid tanking. On raid bosses you will miss, and be parried/dodged a lot combined with the poor chance to proc with a fast 1H and the poor chance of reckoning procs on slow hitting bosses.

    There are 2.9 speed 1H but they are either gained by PvP or have pitiful dps... and NONE of them have spell damage bonus.

    If it's going to be practical for anything, they need to change the 20 PPM to 30 or 35 (ie 2.0 or 1.7 speed weapons).

    What I have read before though, is that a tanking paladin can start the first application and then a second paladin can stack the rest up and the tanking pally will get all the threat as long as it doesn't fall off. Not very practical though since they will be doing poor dps and not healing... they just become a dot holder.

  21. Further to previous post, I have done some experimenting using melee dps gear and a 2H. What I would do is put up SoV until it stacks and switch to Seal of Command (Rank1). I let that hit a couple times and then put SoV back up to refresh the stack once, then judge it and SoC Rank1 again and repeat. It shows some promise, but the mobs die too quickly to tell. In the short term it's slightly less dps than just SoC, but on a longer fight I think it would pull ahead. The only down side is mana consumption... anyway worth some more testing...

  22. Lets revisit this if just for one more response? I recently started playing WOW and immediately chose a pally. Still trying to understand the mechanics of the class and your blog seems less overwhelming in gaining that understanding.

    I know you say you don't understand the Vengeance seal and with Martyr being a heavily favored seal in PVP and PVE I guess its safe to say for RET seal of Vengeance is even more obsolete. But with the AP conversion to SP and the fact that this seal's DOT will proc on up to 4 mobs attacking you via Divine Storm is it possible to take another look at this seal?

    Ive played with it while AOE grinding and in BG's the place (where I found out it procs on multiples) and have consistently ranked in the top 5 overall damage. I'm sitting around 850-900 sp and interested in pushing it a little higher.

    Also I have read that in PVE this is the second seal of choice to avoid dying from Martyr (Martyr first than stack Vengeance while waiting on a heal). Can this now work for those few Ret Pallies that want to go against the grain?

  23. You could use it that way. But it would do less damage than Martyr. And since DS is on a 10s cooldown, it's unlikely that mobs will get more than 1 or 2 stacks on them.

    This post is fairly old. Vengeance has now moved into the niche of default tanking seal. Hammer of the Righteous does the spreading stacks trick, and is on a 6-second cooldown, so it is more likely to work.

    Martyr/Command are better for Ret because you get extra hits off Crusader Strike and Divine Storm.

    At least this is PvE. In PvP, Vengeance might be useful for putting a DoT on people, but burst damage is what kills people. So Ret paladins use Martyr/Command to get the extra burst.