Monday, March 08, 2010

Ask Coriel: New Prot Paladin Spec

Redzilla asks:
I'm looking for the overall best Tankadin build in your opinion. I have a Female Dwarf Ret Pally, that I love, but I'm now leveling a Female Blood Elf Prot Pally. This is the cookie cutter I'm using, wanted to get your opinion, and what you would do to change this:


Also, as a long time Ret pally, I'm used to using certain blessings and aura's for different situations. With a tankadin, what do you suggest? For 5 Mans, I'm assuming Blessing Of Kings, Devotion Aura, and Seal of Light(for health regen) or Seal of Just curious as to what you use in 5 mans vs solo'ing to level. I'm going straight Prot Pally all the way to 80 with my Blood elf.

In my opinion, my tank build would be: 0/53/18

It's not very much different from yours, but I would take 2/2 Imp Judgements, 2/2 Pursuit of Justice, and Seal of Command. 2/2 Imp Judgements is not strictly needed, but sometimes it's useful to have your Judgements available a bit early. The 969 rotation is the standard, but don't get tunnel-visioned. Sometimes deviating from 969 is necessary. For example, if you were kiting a mob, you'd prefer to have more Judgements.

As well, I am a great fan of Pursuit of Justice. I find being able to move swiftly is very useful, and I think trading 2% crit is worth it. However, a lot of other paladin tanks would probably disagree with me, and say that having Tuskarr's Vitality on your boots is good enough.

Seal of Command is very useful on trash and adds. It's especially good for AoE tanking.

I'm not sure about Divine Sacrifice. I'm not sure how much you would use it as a tank. You might be better off just getting 3/5 Divinity instead. Divine Sacrifice is powerful, but if you never use it because you're always tanking, better to take something else.

As for Auras/Blessings/Seals, at low levels I would suggest Blessing of Kings, Devotion Aura, and Seal of Righteousness. Don't use Light, let your healer keep you healed up. When I see low level paladin tanks running Light1 I know that the tank is going to have a hard time holding aggro.

Switch to Blessing of Sanctuary when you get it, and then Seal of Vengeance or Command when you get those.

1 Or worse, Seal of Justice. I'm not sure why Justice is so attractive to newbie tanks.


  1. For leveling, if you're going to level as a tank, I strongly recommend going down Ret until 22 to get Seal of Command and Pursuit of Justice, then getting started on your Prot talents.

    Sure, you end up delaying access to Avenger's Shield and Hammer of the Righteous this way, but consider: you don't get HoR until 60, and (unglyphed) it hits the same number of targets as SoC splashes to. With SoC, you'll be a threat machine in just about every situation. Also, since Hand of Reckoning is baseline, you can live without Avenger's Shield until your talents pick it up.

    I've been leveling two paladins on different servers via this method, and it works famously. I've also got an 80 Paladin and I'll go ahead and echo what was said about SoC: get it. My guild wonders how I can do 4k on some trash pulls.

  2. I advise against 2/2 Imp. Judgement. It breaks the 96969 rotation.

  3. @AJ: read again, it doesn't break the rotation, just like the 8 second-consecration also doesn't break the rotation.

    And I partially agree with Cid. At the moment I am playing a low-level tankadin in 'Single Abstract Noun', and Seal of Command is golden. Combine it with the seal of SoC and JoW, and you almost have no mana-problems. However, my idea is to go full ret, once I can get Sanctuary (lvl35 orso?).

  4. Regarding Divine Sacrifice, our main Palatank has it and uses it all the time. He's got it macro'ed to an emote so we healers always know when he pops it (or he'll say he's about to do it over vent) so that we're not caught by surprise, and he and I (Holy Pala) will often arrange in advance who's going to use Sac when. This is for raids, it may not be as useful while leveling.

  5. I agree with Cid about going ret at start. I've leveled dualspec, but I was a mix untill 40, mostly ret, it was great for tanking. The damage in lower level instances is so low that I could solo the paladin mace quest (not sure if horde has an equivalent) at level 22, being pure ret.

    If you're still going for pure prot, I'd suggest spending all points in benediction and spiritual attunement when you can. I remember having mana problems, sometimes even while using both seal and judgement of wisdom (which works well enough for leveling dungeons, unless you notice threat problems ofc). I'd also suggest 2x imp judgement.

    But.. only while leveling.. After that you'd want something similar to Rohan's spec.

  6. When I leveled my Tankadin, I used Judgment of Justice while in instances. I thought that's what you were arguing in your last line, but I see it says Seal of Justice. My bad.

    Judgment of Justice = good because mobs won't run away (especially helpful in instances).

    Seal of Justice = bad because it's too random in my opinion and there are much better seals.

  7. If you had 2/2 Divine Guardian,
    would you consider a macro:
    /cancelaura Divine Sacrifice
    /cast Divine Sacrifice

    That way if you can't afford taking extra damage, hit the button again half a second later to lose the sacrifice effect but to keep the -20% damage bonus for 6 seconds.

  8. I do what Frnit suggests and actually use it pretty often; it's essentially a raidwide damage reduction cooldown and I only take that half second of extra damage. My healers appreciate it.

  9. Divine Sacrifice is a required tanking talent for anyone raid tanking.

    Learn & love it:
    /cancelaura Divine Sacrifice
    /cast Divine Sacrifice

    The tank takes no damage; the raid/party takes 20% reduced damage.

    This is also useful on Black Knight phase 3, those nasty AOE mobs before the last boss in FOS...

  10. @Fernit: Even better (from maintankadin):

    /cast Divine Sacrifice
    /in 0.5 /script CancelUnitBuff("player","Divine Sacrifice")

    But as a leveling protpala you won't spec into Devine Sacrifice/Guardian before you're close to 80.

    I'd rather put a point in Improved Hammer of Justice than 2 points into Improved Judgements. If you
    have 2 points in Improved HoJ you have a 10sec cooldown and that's usually the timer of spells
    that can be interrupted.

    I have a lvl80 protpala (dwarf), a lvl41 retpala (be) (just switched recently from prot since I want to experience
    the evil side a bit ^^, so far its a blast to hit with 560 crits), a lvl36 (dwarf) and a lvl31 protpala (be).
    I had good results with going this route:

    5/5 Devine Strength
    5/5 Anticipation
    5/5 Deflection
    5/5 Toughness
    3/3 Improved Righteous Fury
    1/2 Improved Judgements
    3/3 Heart of the Crusader
    1/2 Improved Blessing of Might (I only buff kings anyway)
    1/1 Seal of Command -> lvl38

    From here spec into prot again with maybe a point here and there into ret.
    In my experience you get AoE-aggro-problems around 40 because most classes get decent
    AoE then so it's important to have SoC by then.

    @Daxlim: Yes there is a horde-quest (but instead of a mace you get a polearm, Blood-Tempered Ranseur).

  11. Ohhh, some comments from me! Apologies in advance for length.

    1) Blessings and Seals -

    I'm sorry, but I have to strongly disagree with running Kings in 5 mans. Why? Sanc has the STA and STR boosts both built in now! What in the world does Kings give you? Whereas Sanc gives you damage reduction and mana regen, which are things a tank needs.

    Pally tanking is designed around tanking with Sanc up just like it's designed around using a shield. :) Sanc. Always Sanc. Even an undergeared tank will run into mana problems without Sanc.

    As for seals, there are two options: Seal of Command for trash, adds, or AOE. Seal of Vengeance for bosses.

    You will see way, way overgeared raid tanks running Seal of Wisdom. This is because they just don't get enough mana back from Divine Plea AND Sanc to maintain threat. Or, they are chain pulling and Divine Plea just isn't back up. Personally I hate doing this; I prefer to adjust my gear so I require more heals (take off your paaaaaaaaaants!). Command and Vengance are seals we need for threat and tanking without one of them is a little weird.

    Seal of Righteousness is currently less effective than Command or Vengeance. The ONLY time it's better is (1) kiting and (2) only one mob. The one and only time I ever use Seal of Righteousness is slime kiting on rotface.

    2) The build -

    This is a personal decision, but I totally agree with you; I like 2/2 Pursuit of Justice and 2/2 Imp Judgements. These are "quality of life improvement" points, in my opinion, and they make me a more effective tank.

    There's no other place to put those points anyways. I don't really consider Divinity an option. Maybe 1 point in it if you totally hate shorter Judgement cooldowns.

    Divine Sacrifice is a required tanking talent, and I would cry if I saw anyone without it. This is really not a choice. This is a totally vital cooldown for anyone specced Prot. A prot spec missing this cooldown is a very questionable tank spec imo.

    If the tank is worried about extra damage, this is the macro:
    /cancelaura Divine Sacrifice
    /cast Divine Sacrifice
    Hit it twice, take no damage, the entire raid or party takes 20% reduced damage.

    Use it on anything AOE, and there are tons of places even in heroics where it's useful. Black Knight phase 3. Those nasty mobs before the last boss in FOS. (I always use mine in both places).

    I am practicing using my Divine Sac more. :)

    Hope you don't mind the extensive comments and slight disagreement with you... I just had to respond! Have had your blog on my reader for a long time, and I quite enjoy it :)
    <3 Anafielle from Tankadin Errant

  12. Well I fail at reading comprehension, and at commenting once (shakes fist at OpenID nonsense). I thought this was about the best all-around tank spec, at 80, but I see people commenting on leveling.

    A lot of what I said is totally not right for leveling. On the other hand, I would expect a leveling tank spec to be very different from an 80 tank spec.

    Oh well :)