5.2 Protection Links and Q&A

Since there are a few hours yet before we can all set foot on the Isle of Thunder, it seems like a good time to offer a brief roundup of updated information for 5.2.  Here are a handful of useful links and commentary on how your life will change post-patch:

5.2 Smoothing Simulations – Last week’s post discussing how the different gearing strategies are affected by the change to Grand Crusader.  Short version: Control/Haste and Control/Mastery are both strong, either works.  Avoidance-based strategies aren’t that far behind, though, so don’t feel obligated to turn down pieces with avoidance if it’s a reasonable ilvl upgrade.

5.2 MATLAB DPS Simulations – Updated today with results that are current for T15 gear and mechanics.  Not a whole lot has changed, but if you’re into min/maxing your DPS choices, the data’s all there for you.  DPS stat weight simulations still coming, literally running as we speak (type?).

WoWInsider’s 5.2 tanking gear list – Rhidach has a nice, concise list of the tanking gear available in 5.2.  The only omission I noticed was the (arguably) best-in-slot chest, which is the Retribution tier chest.

5.2 Plate tank gear list – Kerriodos of <Odyssey> has put together a detailed gear list in spreadsheet form, if you prefer that format.

Elitist Jerks Protection Paladin Thread – Wrathblood has updated his all-in-one guide for 5.2, and contains his commentary on the changes and the results of current theorycrafting.

TankSpot’s Protection Paladin Guide – It looks like Fetzie has updated his guide as well.  It’s a fairly comprehensive (if less numerical) of the protection spec as a whole.

Smoothing Stat Weights – I posted some suggested stat weights for use in AskMrRobot that model the gearing strategies covered in my 5.2 Smoothing Simulations.  Their default values are still pretty good, but still based heavily on the “avoidance is bad” 5.1 paradigm.  These new ones should be a little more robust and less stam-focused.

Official 5.2 Patch Notes – In case you’re not up-to-date on the changes.

Q & A

In addition, I’ll try and check in every 15-20 minutes to answer any questions you have and add them to the bottom of this post.  Feel free to post any paladin-relevant questions you might have in the comments here, or tweet them at me @TheckPhD.

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27 Responses to 5.2 Protection Links and Q&A

  1. Erren says:

    Sorry this isn’t paladin related: I’ve loved your Protection Warrior analysis in the past. If you have some time, I’d love to see your stat weights for AskMrRobot with it’s newer features (force hit/expertise cap) accounted for. Thanks for all your work!

    • Theck says:

      It’s something I hope to get to in the next few weeks. Including a number of improvements to the simulation itself. But I’m pretty busy just getting all of the paladin stuff updated.

  2. David says:

    Hey there Teck, a HUGE thank you for all your work, if it wasn’t for this i would suck a little bit more as prot 😛
    i saw that you use 1.5 stamina weight on AMR but that brings (at least me) to 25% haste wich means 5% to the breakpoint, i did some work on overall weights to bring it to 30% haste but now i feel a little short on health lol… Do you think this can be a problem, to have a low health pool on the new content?

    Thanks again for everything you are really an inspiration to us all :)

    • Theck says:

      I haven’t seen how the new bosses are tuned, so I can’t say for certain. It’s probably safer to do so on 10-man than on 25-man though.

      The 1.5 stat weight for Stamina is just a suggestion – it was chosen so that AMR would try to use hybrid stamina gems for socket bonuses. I have a well-known stamina bias, so if you find that you don’t feel squishy at all you can easily ratchet that down to 1.3 or so, at which point it will prefer pure haste gemming.

      • Tehlulz says:

        Sadly, my pally is sitting on a 490 ilvl so your gear is prob a LOT different to mine, plus your content might be diff (my group isnt doing heroics). Anyways, for a while i used AMR weights and theyre nice but in an attempt to bump my dps. Based on how i’ve performed in various boss fights, i figured i could sacrifice some health for other stats. I took away about 80k (unbuffed) from my health pool for, what at the time was not enough haste. This got me tinkering with the weights and after a few upgrades im now sitting on 600k base hp, hit/exp caps, and a solid 12% haste.

        Id say toy around with AMR until you get what youre looking for and have the gems for the default weights ready. Then raid as you normally would. If there seems to be a health pool issue then you can easily correct it.

  3. Manstus says:

    Hey Theck,

    Always loved the site and the work you do!

    What’s your take on the “new” hand of purity? Will the 10% on-demand damage reduction make it worth using on most encounters, or continuing to pick and choose it’s use based on fights with patterns of damage of time? Are we likely to continue using Unbreakable Spirit to continue to reduce our cooldown on divine protection, especially in combination with the 4-pc bonus?

    • Manstus says:

      Oops, that should read: “patterns of damage OVER time”

    • Theck says:

      It certainly makes it less of a niche choice. I don’t know that it’s going to become the default choice though – 10% isn’t a lot, and it’s limited to 6-second bursts, and it’s on the GCD if I recall correctly. Unbreakable Spirit generally gives you ~15 seconds off of Divine Protection’s cooldown, so about 4 seconds of extra DP uptime every minute, along with giving you LoH on a 5-minute cooldown and Divine Shield on ~2.5 minutes.

      • Steve says:

        No strictly related to your post, but if you could suggest an additional gearing strategy for AMR for us 10man raiders where stam is a little less essential. We have haste and mastery build, maybe same again but with lower stam bias.

        • Daishan says:

          If you just take the default gearing strategy you like and lower stamina prio untill AMR starts suggesting pure haste/mast gems in yellow sockets, that’s all I’ve ever done to make it more 10 man relevant.

          • Steve says:

            Same

            Would just me more user friendly to have a default.

          • queldan says:

            Another (more efficient) option is to put a cap on Stamina (I had one at 34500 during T14). That way, you don’t hit a “swing number”, where suddenly all your gems go from stam-heavy to haste or mastery-heavy.

        • Theck says:

          What AMR chooses for the defaults is sort of up to AMR. This time around I’ve already lowered the stam weight such that it’ll almost always pick up socket bonuses using hybrid gems rather than using Solid gems and ignoring weaker bonuses (i.e. +60 dodge).

          If you want even less stamina, you can drop the weight to 1.3 or put a cap on it. If you use AMR while signed in it should save your custom weights between sessions, so you don’t have to adjust every time you use it.

  4. ahticp says:

    Your damage smoothing simulation (as best I can tell) does not include the fact that SS and SoI benefit from haste, but not from mastery. I recognize that this is a feature, not a bug, but I’m curious about your opinion: on some fights SoI is 20% of my overall healing received, and I’m awful about maintaining SS and it’s absorb is usually in the 10-12% of my overall healing received. At what point do you think the benefit from haste on those abilities is significant enough to be worth noting?

    • Jackinthegreen says:

      Considering these simulations are only for damage smoothing and not damage “healing” really, I wouldn’t expect SoI or SS to really be noted. It might be possible to model given how the WoG>block set bonus was done, but it’s more complicated than just haste giving the benefit. Keep in mind Strength will increase the contributions of SoI and SS, along with granting a bit of parry too, so chances are no one is fully sure whether haste might be the best thing. If you look through Theck’s posts you’ll find the spreadsheet for SS’s haste breakpoints though, so if you really want to have something to work with then you might try one of the SS breakpoints if it’s not too difficult to reforge into.

    • Theck says:

      It’s funny you should mention that. I’m currently working on some improvements to the simulation, and Sacred Shield is one of them. Since it’s a pure absorption effect, it’s fairly easy to characterize it in terms of damage smoothing. And it’s a large effect that ought to skew a little towards haste.

      SoI is trickier, because there’s no guarantee that it won’t be overhealing, and we don’t track health in this simulation. I could model it as a small absorb, but I really don’t like that solution. And in practice, it’s not likely to matter much since the heals are relatively small. Getting one or two more by using the haste build shouldn’t be a large enough effect to make you choose haste over mastery, for example.

  5. raigon says:

    Hi Theck,

    Just wondering about consumables given the new changes. Are you using stam flask or dual elixirs now (if so, which ones)?

    Love the blog (and would donate if there was an option!)

    • Theck says:

      I still use stamina flasks, partly due to being cheap and easy, partly because I have a well-known stamina bias. If I were using elixirs, it would be mastery/armor or haste/armor.

  6. UFTimmy says:

    Rhiddach listed the trinkets on his article, but which are going to be BiS? I’ve always been awful at evaluating trinkets. I have Jade Wardlord and Lao-Chin (regular mode raider) now, is the valor one worth upgrading to?

    I’ve generally gemmed haste, but gone with stamina trinkets.

    • BentBlyant says:

      +1 For a little discussion on Trinkets, I’m confused as to where the new mechanic trinkets fit into our current gearing options. I think the Soul Barrier looks very solid for physical fights of course, but for a general all round pick I can’t seem to find my way around them.

    • Theck says:

      My plan was to aim for Soul Barrier and Fortitude of the Zandalari (mastery with Last Stand on-use). But several of the haste trinkets might be interesting for a more DPS-heavy focus (if I recall correctly, they all have STR or damage procs).

      • BentBlyant says:

        Liquid Courage still performs great though, right? I was thinking about picking it up at 875 valor

        • Theck says:

          It’s still pretty good for this tier, yeah. I’m keeping my double-upgraded one around for fights where I want dual stam (and cheesy Holy Avenger hijinks). I’m not sure if it’s worth picking up with valor if you don’t have one already though – you’d have to figure out what the opportunity cost is compared to that valor going towards a 522 upgrade in another slot.

      • Thels says:

        Seems there are quite a few trinkets to choose from, 5 actual tanking trinkets, and 3 additional dps trinkets (not considering the two crit trinkets).

        Soul Barrier (Drops from Lei Shen)
        2201 Stamina. Use: Absorb 11206 damage every time you take physical damage, up to 56030 damage (2 minute CD)
        http://www.wowhead.com/item=94528

        Fortitude of the Zandalari (Drops from Council)
        1467 Mastery. Use: Increases maximum health by 73844 for 15 seconds (2 minute CD)
        http://www.wowhead.com/item=94516

        Ji-Kun’s Rising Winds (Drops from Ji-Kun)
        1467 Expertise. Melee hits that reduce you below 35% health heal you for 40341 (30 seconds CD)
        http://www.wowhead.com/item=94527

        Steadfast Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault (Available at friendly)
        1467 Mastery. Use: Grant 16000 dodge, reducing to 0 over 20 seconds (2 minute CD)
        http://www.wowhead.com/item=94507

        Delicate Vial of the Sanguinaire (Drops from Dark Animus)
        1467 Dodge. Dodges can proc 8800 mastery for 20 seconds.
        http://www.wowhead.com/item=94518

        Soul Barrier and Fortitude seem like the go-to survival trinkets. Rising Winds seems like an interesting alternative in case you’re unlucky with drops (especially considering that more expertise on your trinket means you can gem/reforge more towards stamina/mastery/haste). The Steadfast Talisman and the Delicate Vial seem a bit lackluster with all the dodge they provide/require, though perhaps they make an interesting combination for avoidance tanks? (Personally, I don’t like the RNG that is dodge.)

        Brutal Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault (Available at friendly)
        1467 Expertise. Attacks can proc 8800 strength for 15 seconds.
        http://www.wowhead.com/item=94508

        Fabled Feather of Ji-Kun (Drops from Ji-Kun)
        1467 Hit. Attacks can proc 1333 strength, increasing to 13330 over 20 seconds.
        http://www.wowhead.com/item=94515

        Spark of Zandalar (Drops from Horridon)
        1467 Haste. Attacks can proc 7333 strength for 20 seconds.
        http://www.wowhead.com/item=94526

        Primordius’ Talisman of Rage
        1467 Crit. Attacks can proc 1538 strength for 10 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
        http://www.wowhead.com/item=94519

        Gaze of the Twins (Drops from Twins)
        1467 Strength. Crits can proc 2868 crit for 20 seconds, stacking up to 3 times.
        http://www.wowhead.com/item=94529

        Brutal Talisman, Fabled Feather and Spark of Zandalar all seem decent choices for the Haste and Mastery oriented tanks. The Brutal Talisman and Fabled Feather have the downside that they cannot easily be swapped out for other trinkets without reforging, when you want to swap to more survival oriented gems. Primordius’ Talisman seems uninteresting with it’s base crit, and Gaze of the Twins is a purely DPS trinket that we’re likely to pass on for DPS as their benefit from it is a lot bigger.

        Personally (as a 10 man tank who’s not diving straight into heroics), I’m probably going to aim for Brutal Talisman + Spark of Zandalar, Spark of Zandalar can be swapped without problems, and from the remaining two trinkets, Brutal Talisman is much easier to obtain, and it can be swapped 1:1 with Rising Winds without the need to reforge.

  7. Hi Theck,

    I would like more feedback on your stat weight (see askmrrobot post).

    For the Haste control build, Strength worth 0.6 and dodge/parry worth 0.5.
    if I understand correctly, many strength proc trinket like the Brutal Talisman are not only good for the expertise but are almost on part with other “mitigation” trinket that proc dodge ???

    Also why is strength worth 20% more that a dodge/parry … I’m surprise. I know it give parry but didn’t expect that a 8000ish str proc on a 75sec CD have a similar mitigation to a 16000ish dodge that proc every 120s

    Anyway feedback to explain me that would be great. thx.

    • Theck says:

      I weighted Strength slightly higher than dodge and parry for a few reasons:

      1) X strength gives you ~98% as much parry as X parry rating does, thus for all intents and purposes it’s as good as parry rating for avoidance

      2) It also gives you AP, which gives you DPS. It also gives you a small amount of survivability through Sacred Shield, Seal of Insight procs, and larger WoGs.

      3) It also shows up on gear natively (i.e. pretty much every item we use is str/sta). If you want the optimizer to favor less-ideally itemized but higher-ilvl pieces over ideally-itemized, lower-ilvl pieces, one way to do it is to increase the stamina, strength, and armor weights. Stamina is already pretty high (higher than many players care for, in fact), so I tried to bump STR and Armor some to get that effect without pushing stamina so high.

      4) Regarding the dodge trinket, remember that dodge has a much harsher diminishing returns curve than parry. The way things are tuned, parry/str will almost always give you more avoidance than an equal amount of dodge will. This becomes exaggerated when we’re talking about large amounts (like 16k dodge rating, which is ~18% dodge before DR, but only about 14% after DR.

      I wouldn’t trust AMR as far as trinkets are concerned, to be perfectly honest. One of the only ways to come up with a consistent valuation on trinket effects is to calculate the time-averaged effect of the proc. But that’s a pretty ineffective metric for most classes, and especially ineffective for tanks. More often than not, the secondary effect isn’t being used on cooldown. So you really need to be asking questions like, “do I like/want the passive stat” and “do I like/want the special effect.”

      For example, the expertise and hit trinkets will probably rank very highly on AMR. But in all likelihood, they won’t be that useful to us because we’ll have little problem capping hit and expertise through reforging on the rest of our gear. So it would be more useful to get a trinket with an uncappable stat (stamina, mastery, haste) and a good on-use or proc effect.

      • Thank you for such a fast reply.

        The reason why I consider the expertise trinket is that right now I use 4 gem and a few reforge from “none haste gear” to get the expertise cap. So, buying that 1400ish expertise trinket will convert 1400 expertise from my existing gear/gem to “additional” haste. If i go for the mastery trinket with the “use dodge”, with the reforge I end up with approx 850 mastery and 550 haste. So here the different…

        850 mastery + /use 16k dodge that decrease slowly every 2 min
        vs
        850 haste + proc 8.8 str every 75sec.

        Using the “point system”, I must admit mastery is still great, not that far from haste and a use effect that grant approx 14% dodge (but decrease slowly) might be nice. Also swapping a mastery/haste trinket for a stamina trinket is easy … the expertise one cant be swap due to the reforge involved.

        My problem is I like haste soooo much, my hearth say “more haste, more dps muhahaha” but logically … i must buy the mastery trinket lol.

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