Tankadin Patch 5.4 Survival Guide

Protection paladins are receiving a number of peripheral changes in 5.4, but nothing that changes our core mechanics.  We’re still going to be stacking haste thanks to Sanctity of Battle – in fact it’s even on two of our tier pieces – and we’re still not very interested in avoidance.  We’re still going to be focusing on high Shield of the Righteous uptime, and we’re still going to be one of the best (if not the best) tank classes.

There are, however, a few high-profile changes that affect our talent and glyph choices.  The Icy Veins Guide should be up to date with all of the latest information.  In this post, I’m going to go over what’s changed and discuss many of those changes in greater detail than would be appropriate in a class guide.

Big Changes

Grand Crusader: The first change most players notice is Grand Crusader.  It no longer procs from Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous, but instead procs only from avoidance (30% chance per avoided attack).  This is probably the change I’m asked about most often, primarily from players wondering if this “kills” haste-tanking.

But while this seems like a significant change, it’s actually not.  Grand Crusader certainly helped make haste stronger, but only by a tiny amount.  The majority of our affinity for haste comes from Sanctity of Battle, which isn’t changing.  Unless that gets nerfed, we’re going to continue to stack haste.

The only noticeable effect that the Grand Crusader change should produce is a slight adjustment in our multiple-mob tanking priorities.  As we tank more mobs, we have a higher and higher chance of getting early Grand Crusader procs.  So when tanking more than 5 or 6 mobs, we may start prioritizing Grand Crusader procs over Crusader Strike and Judgment.

Eternal Flame and Sacred Shield: This patch, Sacred Shield received a 30% nerf and Eternal Flame‘s heal-over-time (HoT) component received a 40% buff.  Together, this has finally shifted the balance of power in our Level 45 talent tier.  When cast with 5 stacks of Bastion of Glory, Eternal Flame’s HoT will heal for 3x-4x as much as Sacred Shield absorbs.  As such, it becomes the better smoothness option at high haste, essentially through brute-force.

That doesn’t make Sacred Shield a bad choice, just a little less effective at smoothing melee damage.  It may still be the stronger choice when up against large, one-shot boss attacks.  And the ability to put it on your co-tank is another hard-to-quantify benefit; I suspect that two paladin tanks that are alternating Sacred Shields such that each tank has two active at any given time is still superior to a similar strategy with Eternal Flame.

The general strategy when using Eternal Flame should be to refresh it when it’s about to expire or shortly after it’s expired, ideally at high BoG stacks and always with 3+ Holy Power or a “freebie” proc like Divine Purpose or the Tier 16 4-piece bonus.  Note that in many cases it’s actually better to let it expire and re-apply than to refresh it early thanks to the instant healing component.  For example, if you refresh it a second early while at full health and then take a large hit from the boss, the Word of Glory portion is wasted as overhealing and the first few HoT ticks will go towards healing that damage.  If instead you let the HoT expire and held that Eternal Flame until after the melee attack landed, the instant heal would completely offset the melee attack, leaving you at full health with a fresh HoT ticking for the next melee attack.

If you’re looking for a good way to track Eternal Flame, I’ll be posting about the latest version of my WeakAuras configuration later this week once I’ve had a chance to test them on the live version of 5.4.  They’re all uploaded to pastebin, so you can try them out, I just don’t guarantee that they’re bug-free for 5.4 yet.  Also note that the author that’s been maintaining WeakAuras the last two years has moved the project to WeakAuras 2, so update your links accordingly.

Selfless Healer: The third choice in this talent tier also saw a notable change this patch.  Selfless Healer now consumes Bastion of Glory stacks to apply a healing bonus to Flash of Light when you use it on yourself.  Before, it gained no healing bonus when self-cast.  Unfortunately, this is still not enough to make the talent attractive.

Since the mechanics of Selfless Healer are less than obvious, here’s a detailed explanation of how it works. Each stack of the Selfless Healer buff reduces the cast time by 35%, so at 3 stacks Flash of Light is instant-cast. If you heal an ally, it’s just a simple 20%/40%/60% increase to the healing done at 1/2/3 stacks. Simple enough.

However, that healing buff doesn’t apply if you heal yourself.  Instead, Selfless Healer modifies Bastion of Glory, giving it the following tooltip:

Bastion of Glory
Instant
Requires level 40
Increases the strength of your Word of Glory when used to heal yourself by 10%. Selfless Healer also increases healing from Flash of Light on yourself by 20% per stack. Stacks up to 5 times.

So when you use Flash of Light on yourself, you only get the +20% to +100% bonus from having one to five stacks of Bastion of Glory.  That 20% per stack bonus doesn’t increase with mastery, either, unlike the Word of Glory healing bonus.  There’s an additional caveat here, in that you only get the bonus when you have at least one stack of the Selfless Healer buff as well.  A hard-cast Flash of Light with no stacks of the Selfless Healer buff doesn’t consume or benefit from Bastion of Glory.  So with 5 stacks of Bastion of Glory you get +100% healing done regardless of whether you had 1 or 3 stacks of Selfless healer.

And just in case that wasn’t confusing enough, the buff tooltip is also misleading.  If you mouse over the Bastion of Glory buff while Selfless Healer is talented, you’ll see:

Bastion of Glory
Your next Word of Glory used to heal yourself heals for an additional 10%.
Your next Flash of Light will heal you for 20% more per stack of Selfless Healer you have accumulated.
20 seconds remaining

which obviously contradicts the spell tooltip.  The spell tooltip is correct, however; with 3 stacks of Selfless Healer and 5 stacks of Bastion of Glory, you’ll get +100% healing when you cast Flash of Light on yourself and consume the stacks of Bastion.

That was a lot of words to describe a mechanic that’s irrelevant to us, but unfortunately that’s how the numbers fall out.  Unbuffed on the PTR, a Flash of Light healed me for 35k with no Bastion stacks and 70k with five Bastion stacks.  A 3-holy-power Eternal Flame that consumed five Bastion stacks healed for 115k immediately and ticked for 35k.  Those two aren’t even in the same ballpark – Eternal Flame is essentially spamming you with Flash of Light casts automatically via the HoT mechanism, and does a better job of health recovery with the immediate heal.  And Eternal Flame is off-GCD.  And scales better with spellpower than Flash of Light does.

So while the Selfless Healer buff was a nice thought, it’s too little to really make the talent worth taking.  Even if it gave the 60% bonus from all three Selfless Healer stacks, it wouldn’t be strong enough to rival Eternal Flame’s primary heal.  It would also have to get full benefit from each BoG stack, including mastery scaling, to have any hope of competing.  And probably even then some thanks to the long-tail healing from Eternal Flame’s HoT.

Glyph of the Battle Healer: Gutted.  Utterly and completely destroyed.  Battle Healer’s old version was incredibly strong, and basically mandatory because it was a significant amount of free raid healing for the cost of a glyph slot.  The new version completely changes how Battle Healer works.  Now, it causes Seal of Insight to heal the lowest-health raid member instead of healing you.  Unless, of course, you happen to be the lowest-health raid member.

That in and of itself might not completely neuter the glyph, as in many cases you will be the lowest-health raid member anyway.  So it would be a trade of some personal survivability for some raid healing, but would generally divert that healing back to you when you were in severe danger.

Unfortunately, the glyph also reduces the size of the heal to 30% of the unglyphed value.  That’s the part that stings.  We might take a small personal survivability loss for some extra raid healing, but not a significant personal survivability loss for very little raid healing.  Battle Healer is probably out of the rotation permanently, or at least until it gets changed again in a future patch.

Sanctified Wrath: I’m not sure whether this qualifies as a big change or a little change.  Sanctified Wrath was tweaked to generate an extra holy power from Judgment during Avenging Wrath.  This makes it a little more attractive to us than before, as it finally gives us a substantial holy power generation increase.  We still have to change up our rotation to make most effective use out of it, however; with this talent selected, we switch to a J-CS-J-filler- rotation during Avenging Wrath.

I’m still not 100% sure about where this change leaves Sanctified Wrath.  The 3-minute cooldown on Avenging Wrath still limits the total usefulness of the talent.  We’re probably equally invincible whether we have Avenging/Sanctified Wrath or Holy Avenger active, but Holy Avenger is on a shorter 2-minute cooldown and should generate more average DPS.  Divine Purpose should be higher DPS still and provide higher average Shield of the Righteous uptime, though without the same level of control.

My gut feeling is that you’re probably a little more survivable during Avenging/Sanctified Wrath than you are during Holy Avenger, but that the longer cooldown and more lmited availability probably makes Sanctified Wrath the slightly weaker choice in most circumstances.  But they’re all close enough that you can probably take whichever talent you like in this tier.

Little Changes

There are loads of little changes, none of which stand out as particularly worrisome.  In no particular order….

Mana Regeneration: Seal of Insight lost its mana return component during PTR, which led to some discussion of whether high-haste builds would be able to continue operating.  To compensate us for that loss, Guarded by the Light was buffed from returning 6% of our mana every 2 seconds to returning 15%.  This should be enough to keep us rotation-stable even at 50% haste, and has some fringe benefits as well.  For example, less waiting time between successive Redemption casts after a wipe.

Weakened Blows: Crusader Strike now also applies Weakened Blows, which is a nice quality-of-life buff.  Also makes Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous completely irrelevant.  As opposed to pre-5.4, when it was “almost completely irrelevant.”

Burdened by a Guilty Point of View: The old Burden of Guilt talent has been turned into a glyph (replacing Glyph of Turn Evil) and replaced with Evil is a Point of View.  This new talent allows us to use Turn Evil on Humanoids and Beasts.  This probably doesn’t have a lot of applicability to PvE, but who knows.  On a fight like Faction Champions, having the option to fear something might have been useful.

Unbreakable Spirit: Drastically simplified in 5.4, the new version of Unbreakable Spirit just reduces the cooldowns of Divine Protection, Divine Shield, and Lay on Hands by a flat 50%.  This is essentially no change for the latter two spells, but should reduce the cooldown of Divine Protection from ~40-45 seconds to 30 seconds.  All in all a fairly clear buff that makes the talent much easier to understand.

There is one caveat: while undocumented, taking this talent will also reduce the healing generated by our tier 16 2-piece bonus.  Though the bonus is pretty weak anyway, so that’s probably not a big concern.

Lights Hammer: The healing component of this spell has changed slightly thanks to a last-minute change.  Instead of healing all players in the area of effect, Light’s Hammer now only heals the six players with lowest health.  A nerf to be sure, but the smart target selection still makes it pretty powerful.

Alabaster Shield: This glyph was nerfed from 20% per stack to 10% per stack.  Still a nice DPS boost, but not as nice as before.  Was already less effective than Focused Shield on single targets, so this shouldn’t change much.

Glyph of Holy Wrath: Aberrations have been added to the list of creature types on Glyph of Holy Wrath. It’s a buff, but I’m not sure if there’s any relevant aberrations in Siege of Orgrimmar.

Glyph of Devotion Aura: Formerly the Glyph of Rebuke, this glyph turns Devotion Aura into a personal cooldown rather than a raid-wide cooldown and reduces the cooldown duration from 3 minutes to 2 minutes.  Devo is such a strong raid cooldown that I don’t expect most people will use this much, especially since 2 minutes is still a fairly long cooldown for a weak, 6-second copy of Divine Protection.

Glyph of Divine Shield: One of two new glyphs this patch, this glyph heals you for 10% of your health for each harmful effect you remove when you bubble.  The heal is capped at 50% of your health.  Neat idea, but I’m not sure it’s that useful in practice.

Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice: This is the other new glyph, which eliminates the damage redirection of Hand of Sacrifice, turning it into a simple 30% damage mitigation cooldown.  Neat, but less useful to us tanks since we shrug off that redirected damage in the first place.

Vengance: This probably qualifies as a big change, except that it doesn’t really change how we play very much.  Apart from being less reckless, I guess.  Vengeance was nerfed in two ways this patch.  First, the amount of attack power gained from melee attacks was reduced from 1.8% to 1.5% and the amount gained from spell damage was reduced by teh same proportion (from 4.5% to 3.75%).  Second, it now has diminishing returns when tanking multiple mobs.  The hardest-hitting mob always gives the full amount, but each successively weaker mob gives 1/N-th as much.  So the second mob grants 1/2 as much as it would alone, the third grants 1/3 as much, and so on.

This is a fairly big hit to our survivability in AoE tanking situations, so we’ll have to be a little more careful with big pulls.  Rather than simply grabbing everything in sight and “tanking the world,” we’ll want to try and split those mobs with other tanks.  Thankfully, this diminishing returns mechanism makes that easier as well.

Taunting and Threat: All taunts now cause a 3-second grace period, during which you generate 3x as much threat as usual against the taunted mob.  This should eliminate most of the wonky threat-related issues players were experiencing after taunting early in an encounter.  In addition, the base threat multiplier of Righteous Fury (and all other tanking presences) was buffed from +400% to +600%.  I assume this latter change was to compensate for the significant reduction of Vengeance in 5-man heroics.

Legendary Buffs and Nerfs: The Indomitable Primal Diamond proc was buffed significantly.  Now it reduces all damage instead of just physical damage, and the proc rate was doubled as well.  On the other hand, the Capacitive Primal Diamond proc rate was nerfed by 40% for tank specs to discourage its use.  The new legendary cloaks for DPS classes (Gong-Lu being the relevant one for us) have this 40% proc-rate nerf built in, again, to discourage us from ignoring the tanking cloak (Qian-Ying).

Simulationcraft v540-1

Simulationcraft should be updated to version 540-1 today, though I haven’t implemented new T16 TMI bosses yet.  Partly because I don’t yet have data on how hard these bosses will hit, so for now the T16Q boss will have to suffice.  However, I have implemented just about everything else.  It should have all of the new 5.4 mechanics, along with several bugfixes.  As usual, please let me know if something looks funny.

Changelog:

  • APL tweaks – removed HotR, added EF, added Ret’s 4T16 bonus
  • Bugfixes:
  • T16 Normal and Heroic profiles optimized
  • Bugfixes:
    • SotR no longer ignores the 1% racial expertise bonuses.
    • Eternal Flame’s base heal was receiving the +100% bonus for self-healing
    • Holy Avenger doesn’t buff Hammer of Wrath damage for Protection anymore
    • Sanctified Wrath’s bonus healing taken is now restricted to Protection

Open Q&A

I think that covers the bulk of the relevant changes in 5.4.  Of course there’s lots of new content as well – the Timeless Isle, Siege of Orgrimmar, Flex Raids, Proving Grounds, and so on – but none of that is super-specific to us.

But if you have any questions that I haven’t answered here or think of something I’ve omitted, please post them in the comments.  I’m fairly busy on Tuesdays, so I may not get a chance to respond until this evening.

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60 Responses to Tankadin Patch 5.4 Survival Guide

  1. Dornex says:

    Can you clarify how the Unbreakable Spirit change nerfs the T16 2 piece? I hadn’t seen that before.

  2. Theck says:

    It’s an undocumented change that I stumbled across while testing the set bonus on the PTR. It simply halves the healing done, just as it halves the cooldown duration. I noticed when the healing amount wasn’t adding up properly, but was exactly half of what it should be. Untalenting US made the results match.

  3. Fetzie says:

    > “I’m still not 100% sure about where this change leaves Sanctified Wrath. The 3-minute cooldown on Avenging Wrath still limits the total usefulness of the talent. We’re probably equally invincible whether we have Avenging/Sanctified Wrath or Holy Avenger active, but Holy Avenger is on a shorter 2-minute cooldown and should generate more average DPS. ”

    Don’t forget that Sanctified Wrath also increases your healing taken by 20% for the 30 seconds (which is a survivability boost that HA does not provide), and the cooldown of Avenging Wrath is reduced to 150 seconds with the cooldown reduction trinket.

    • Theck says:

      Yeah, but my point is that with Holy Avenger you get 100% SotR uptime with lots of extra healing from SoI thanks to extra SotR procs. SW gives you <100% SotR uptime (but close) but 20% extra healing from all sources. In both cases, you’re basically invincible during the duration, so it comes down to a DPS / frequency of usage question.

      Forgot about the trinket, though. 2.5-minute AW certainly makes SW stronger, esp. if it guarantees a third use during the last burn phase of a fight. We’ll be able to sim it soon enough to be sure.

      • Thels says:

        Huh?

        I notice this a little late, but iirc, there was a fairly low haste point (20% iirc) where SW would lead to a 100% SotR uptime.

        For SW to provide a 100% uptime, it requires 10 SotRs, thus 30 HoPo.

        At 0% haste, we’ll press J every 3 seconds (10x, 20 HoPo) and CS every 6 seconds (5x, 5 HoPo), leading to 25 HoPo, ignoring GC procs. We need 20% more than that, so 20% Haste. A little more is preferred of course, since no human plays perfectly, but you also have GC procs helping out.

  4. Thiron says:

    Hmm, questions…here I go.
    What are your thoughts on tanking legendary cloak? OK, that wasn’t a paladin question…
    How good are tier bonuses in their final version? Worth subpar stats of items?
    Speaking of stats, what “general” stat weights would you propose for new patch? Slightly raised avoidance and slightly lowered haste compared to 5.2?
    Do any T16 bosses allow single-tanking for paladins via bubble, or should we forget it?
    Are paladins reaching 100% SoTR uptime yet?

    • Fetzie says:

      Cloak: OP versus single targets with high damage attacks, not so much when tanking many small mobs (if I stops a 10k killing blow then one of the next 3 will probably kill you anyway).
      T16_2: it’s OK, but definitely not worth giving up T15_4 for.
      T16_4: good, removes the opportunity cost of EF (makes it not cost HoPo at 3-5 Bastion of Glory stacks)
      Stats: D+P are slightly less bad, I won’t be changing any reforge settings in ReforgeLite though. Haste is still top of the pile.
      Bosses + bubble: No.
      100% ShoR: Will be getting close with T15_4 bonus and Unbreakable spirit (especially with the cooldown reduction trinket making it have only a 25 second cooldown).

    • Theck says:

      Fetzie pretty much covered it. I wouldn’t push avoidance any higher, to be honest – EF still heavily favors haste, perhaps even more so than SS did.

  5. Matt Clemson says:

    The various glyph changes do leave me pondering what’s appropriate for the final slot now Battle Healer’s being dropped, there’s nothing that strikes me as particularly essential. Glyph of HoS, simply by virtue of the fact that it’s *something*? Or is there another option I’m missing?

    • Keres says:

      The three that seem, to me, to be the most useful would be Hand of Sacrifice, Avenging Wrath (especially if you take the new Sanctified Wrath) or Word of Glory.

      Me personally I’m looking at

      Slot 1 – Divine Protection
      Slot 2 – Alabaster Shield/Focused Shield (depending on targets)
      Slot 3 – Hand of Sacrifice(Off-tank Support)/Word of Glory(Bit of extra DPS)/Avenging Wrath(Bit of Extra healing)/Blinding Light(AoE stun to help farming junk outside of instances)

      There seems to be quite a few options for that last slot now.

    • Theck says:

      It sounds like Holy Wrath will stun sha now, so that’s another good option.

  6. Keres says:

    Quick question regarding the legendary items:

    I’m trying to figure out what proc rate I can expect from the DPS items (10man normal guild, DPS matters more that slightly reduced overall damage or a proc that most likely will only save me when I’m the last guy standing anyway) after the 40% nerf.

    Given the formula that I have for the meta I think I can expect between a .28% and a 16.94% chance to proc on the Meta (Capacitive Primal) depending on the time since last proc, with my current 34.45% haste, however I can’t seem to find the base proc information for DPS cloak (Gong-Lu).

    Anyone have a link or know it off the top of your head?

    • Theck says:

      I don’t have numbers handy, but it’s fair to assume that the Capacitive, which did ~10% of our total damage in 5.3, will be down to 6% in 5.4.

      I also don’t have the numbers handy for the DPS meta, but it looks like SimC 540-1 is out, and it should have those numbers built-in. Could try simming your character and finding out.

      • Keres says:

        Yeah I’ll have to do that when I get home. Just wanted to rough math it while I was at work and had a few mins.

        Tried run SimC at my work computer one time. Took 3 hours to run with the same settings that my home computer can do in about 10-15 mins. Its sad. :)

        • Keres says:

          Ok just simmed it.

          Just took my current set and just added the legendary cloak in. Stats didn’t change obviously so with 34.45% haste I get Flurry of Xuen at 5.7% total damage, and The Lightning Strike from the Meta at 6.2% total damage, total damage coming in at 145k.

          Not too bad.

  7. Ansalt says:

    Very good summary

    Theck, thanks for all …
    Usually im arrive just here and read but i never take the time to thanks for all the information
    BR Ansalt (In Process of Haste-Tank)
    http://us.battle.net/wow/es/character/drakkari/Ansalt/simple

  8. Geodew says:

    “Lights Hammer: The healing component of this spell has changed slightly thanks to a last-minute change. Instead of healing all players in the area of effect, Light’s Hammer now only heals the six players with lowest health. A nerf to be sure, but the smart target selection still makes it pretty powerful.”

    It’s actually not a nerf. I don’t know if you concern yourself with AoE heals too often, but any AoE heal that hits more than 6 targets, with some whitelisted exceptions (25-man raid cooldowns, Priest T90) splits the total healing it would do to 6 people among all allies that it hits (“meteoring”), excluding pets/guardians/etc (they still receive healing but do not count towards target count). So you do the same total healing if you hit 7 (raid member) targets with Light’s Hammer as you would have with 6 targets. Thus, the change to these AoE spells to smart-heal instead of “meteor” is a buff in most situations (any situation where you don’t need that healing on a pet or guardian), since it still does the same amount of total healing and is less likely to overheal.

    Fun fact: Damage AoEs like Arcane Explosion also “meteor” but at a cap of 10 targets.

    • Theck says:

      Are you sure about that? I thought AoE heals used the same target cap that AoE damage abilities do (20 now, used to be 10).

      • Thiron says:

        No, many AoE healing spells used to have 6 targets as “efficiency cap”.
        Look at Holy Radiance, for example – tooltip is still old:
        “Healing effectiveness diminishes for each player target beyond 6″

        Can’t say anything about Light’s Hammer though, not sure. But for most spells affected this is a buff. Not buff to HPS, but buff to raid survival, since lower health people will get more heals.

        • Theck says:

          Yeah, that makes sense. I just wasn’t aware that the cap for healing was usually 6. I thought it used the same cap as damage, which is 20.

  9. Toore says:

    One question: Glyph of Harsh Words?

    • Theck says:

      Still not really a fan of that glyph, though it can be a DPS increase over SotR. But my understanding is that it no longer works with the T16 4-piece bonus as of a recent PTR build.

  10. pc9 says:

    Theck, regarding legendary items… Is DPS stuff interesting yet? Is Tank stuff the best option in 5.4? What do you think about it?

    • Theck says:

      You can get both, and probably should. But the tanking meta was buffed significantly (~50% uptime, 20% damage redux) and the cloak proc is great, so I’d wear the tanking stuff for dangerous bosses.

  11. Arstan says:

    After the 5.4 changes, amongst Glyph of WoG (assuming EF uptime is near 100%), Glyph of Alabaster Shield, and Glyph of Final Wrath, which 2 end up being the greatest DPS increase for us prot pallies?

    • Arstan says:

      My napkin math says Glyph of Alabaster Shield > Glyph of WoG (assuming EF uptime is near 100%) > Glyph of Final Wrath, but I just wanted to make sure you agree.

    • Theck says:

      I haven’t worked it out yet, but my guess is the same as your ordering. GoWoG may even be less effective than Final Wrath; both have ~20% uptime but one buffs all damage by 9% while the other doubles one of our hardest-hitting abilities.

      • Arstan says:

        I used a ~30% uptime for Glyph of WoG (9/29.15). Also, does Glyph of Final Wrath double its damage? My tooltip is saying that it increases it by 50%, which would be 1.5x damage, right?

        • Theck says:

          You’re right, I was misremembering Final Wrath. GoWoG is a 6-second buff that gave 3%/6%/9% damage depending on HP used, so it should be 9% damage with about 20% uptime (6 seconds out of 30, or 1/5).

  12. Any thoughts on weapon enchants? I just looked at Ask-Mr.Robot, and according to their Control/Haste build, ‘based on Theck’s research’, it told me to remove my Dancing Steel and step back to Windsong.

    • Theck says:

      I’ve been favoring Windsong for most of 5.3 onwards. Especially now that crit is useful to use (EF can crit), we can make use of all three buffs.

  13. Cinric says:

    Do you have any numeral stat weights for 5.4 to configurate my reforge spreadsheet?

    • Theck says:

      Not offhand, though you could use the AskMrRobot ones as an estimate or sim your character in SimC to determine them. In general Hit/Exp>Haste/Stam>Mastery>Dodge/Parry>Crit

      • Cinric says:

        I used to use them, but I wanted a more “trustworthy” source. But if you can recommend to use them (or at least to start with them)… I might give it a try (again).
        Thanks for the quick answer!

        I really appreciate your awesome and jaw dropping work!
        PS: Can’t wait for your final EF WeakAura ;)

  14. Arinee says:

    Hi Theck, been a fan of your indepth insight into Prot tanking since 5.2, It has very heavily influenced how I gear and optimise my character dependant on what I am trying to achieve. I do have a few things I want to run past you with to see if it is a viable option since I have been running my pally slightly differently to the average which is either full haste/control, or haste cap> then mastery.

    Sadly I am not the greatest at theory crafting so I have not been able to do any napkin math or SimC results and as such only know roughly how well my build was working by how smooth raids /damage intake felt to myself.

    Anyhow first off I want to explain my build a little, it is the haste/mastery build where it is almost a 50% split between the two secndary stats instead of gunning for one or the other. I use SoI for the haste buff and my raids we always have full raid buffs. I have chosen to soft cap my expertise at 7.5% for more secondary stats and because if Sheild of the righteous misses it’s buff is still activated. This does mean the occasional crusader strike and white damage gets parried but I have found my Holy Power is still quite decent and having no issues with threat.

    I am now running EF and using Divine Purpose to help keep a high uptime for it without sacrificing uptime on SotR.

    The main reasoning that I personally have not gone full haste is because I like my Sotr mitigating heavily and also because bastion of glory is making EF even stronger when taking into consideration vengeance as well. That and at 35%~ buffed melee haste I am finding my rotation for active mitagion does not feel hindered and I am still quite happy with what the GCD and my main holy power generators cooldown speed is currently. Especially when Divine Purpose is on my side and being kind allowing more uptime on Sotr / EF.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Enough about my build though

    I am wondering if my character http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/proudmoore/Arinee/simple – (at this current time logged out in ret but with my tank gear on, I am going to put a haste ench on the gloves) would have more benefit from continuing to use Dancing Steel or if swapping to windsong will have more benefit for it’s haste/mastery proc and since EF can crit as well I suppose the crit proc would be mildly useful.

    Also I am still curious as a whole how the 50% haste/ 50% mastery build now competes with the pure haste builds due to mastery making Eternal Flame stronger at 5 stacks of Bastion of Glory in comparison to limited mastery, as well as it’s other effects.

    • Theck says:

      I suggest Windsong as the default weapon enchant primarily because haste and mastery are significantly stronger than Strength for us, both for DPS and survivability.

      I don’t agree with your decision to soft-cap expertise or to split itemization between haste and mastery; “It feels fine” is not a rigorous argument for why one gearing paradigm is superior to the other. It may feel even more fine with an expertise-capped full haste build, as sims suggest.

      I haven’t directly compared a 50/50 haste/mastery build to the default haste build in SimC, but it’s fairly easy to do so. Load your character and sim it. Then go to AskMrRobot, import your character, and optimize for haste. Export the optimized result to SimC format, copy/paste that result into SimC, and re-sim.

      • Arinee says:

        I will give some simming a shot to get some results to see what sort of data I end up with and compare so I can in theory create some form of validation. As I did not literally mean I gear this way due to it feeling decent. I have my reasons but I will try to explain once I check if the data matches what I want to say :)

        I will swap my enchant when I get a chance, especially with my current 50/50 build, 1000 haste/1000mastery which can proc at the same time sometimes would be worth more then the raw strength boost from dancing steel for Ap, mild damage increase due and mild parry increase.

        Also would that other creation of yours TMI I think it was, help in comparing ( I would assume it can take in consideration that I will be blocking somewhat more often, have stronger EF ticks, and when Sotr is up, more mitigation but with possible less uptime. (does it take divine purpose in consideration as well?)

        Thanks for your response, will hopefully bring some numbers with me for the next reply/post

  15. Arinee says:

    Sorry for how long the above is, I only noticed once I submitted it,

  16. Kitmajere says:

    Question re: Sanctified Wrath — Once you get Vial of Living Corruption (tank CDR trinket), does SW “win” over the other T75 talents? The normal mode upgraded 2/2 trinket gives me a 2.48 min cd on AW.

    • Theck says:

      In my opinion, no. After fooling around with it for an evening, I’m disinclined to take SW again this tier for a few reasons. First, the rotational change is annoying, and ended up taking more attention than I expected. I can do the regular rotation almost by muscle memory now, so breaking that habit is tough. I found that I ended up tunnel-visioning rotation whenever AW was active in order to keep the optimum rotation going.

      It also felt like overkill. I’m basically un-killable with 100% SotR uptime, which both HA and SW grant ~30 seconds of. The 20% healing increase is sort of irrelevant at that point, so I’d still have more uptime with HA (2 min cd) than SW (2.48 min w/ trinket).

      And I like that HA decouples the survivability portion from the DPS portion. With SW, I often found that I’d be delaying AW for a particular portion of the fight – either for a high incoming damage phase, or a burn phase. If a fight had both, I’d often have to choose between them. With HA, I can use the two independently – lining AW up optimially for the fight, either with burn phases or high-Vengeance periods, and using HA appropriately to cover survivability.

      Note also that AW is a miniature survivability cooldown even without SW, because it increases EF and SoI healing by 20%. So by taking HA, you have an extra cooldown to work with rather than just buffing an existing one.

      The ironic thing is that for the hardest encounter I’ve seen this tier so far (Garrosh normal-mode, which is far more difficult than the first two heroics), I ended up using DP. As much as I wanted HA or SW for extra damage during the phase 3 burn, I found that it was just hard for healers to keep up with the raw throughput damage Garrosh puts out in the 15-20 second periods you tank him before swapping. Using HA meant I had many fallow periods where my healers and I struggled to keep me up. But using DP, I was able to have enough SotR uptime that those periods were less problematic.

  17. Dan G says:

    With the nerf to Eternal flame on Spet. 23 do you think that it is still better that Sacred Shield. (Now gives 50% more healing to pally instead of 100%)

    • Arinee says:

      Taking in the fact that it will heal 50% less on the hot considering it had 4-5 times the out put previous, I would assume its still twice as effective as sacred shield, and more or less 3x as effective once higher gear levels kick in (more mastery) but I would be curious to see how accurate this is.

  18. Hamrak says:

    Hello. I play protection paladin on south korea Server.

    For the protection paladin of your blog articles is really great guide. I would like to embed in Korea WOW Community.
    Do I give permission?

    I’m not good at English, so a translator was used. Sorry.

    • Theck says:

      I’m not sure what you mean by “embed,” but if you mean you’d like to translate the articles into Korean and repost them, feel free. Though I’d appreciate if you include a link to the original article with the translation, just to be clear about where the content comes from.

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  20. Erchamion says:

    Hey Theck. Long time fan, and thanks for all the help. I’m hoping this was the right place to post a question.

    My question is in regards to the best T75 talents. I’ve generally been using HA, but I’ve been wondering what would happen with the T16 4-piece bonus. With all the free EFs going off, would DP pull ahead?

    • Erchamion says:

      Also, what do you think of Thok’s Tail Tip as a trinket for prot? The added haste, mastery and crit healing seems to be quite appealing.

    • Theck says:

      It depends on how you define “pull ahead.” Divine Purpose certainly benefits the most from the 4-piece, at least in terms of DPS and SotR uptime. But it’s still not a guaranteed cooldown like HA is. I think the choice of DP vs. HA is generally up to what you prefer, as the differences in overall effect are pretty small. See the latest EF blog post for a comparison.

      I’ve been using DP lately, but either one works for T16 normal content.

      I agree about Thok’s; it’s in my BiS list for T16. I plan on using Vial + Thok’s for most of progression.

  21. Glanger says:

    Just starting to get involved with WeakAuras. I notice in the videos that the standard interface has been totally replaced and around the battles there are cascading texts rendered regarding the activities. Is that an aspect of the add-on or is that another add-on? Additionally, when using Razor gaming mouse which has buttons for quicker invocation of casts, are the dynamically displayed items mapped to buttons for the mouse? Thanks in advance for your guidance and I look to spend lots of time configuring it for my various characters to enhance game play.

    • Theck says:

      WeakAuras doesn’t replace your standard interface, it’s not an entire UI replacement. The WeakAuras in the video are the icons in the lower center region of the screen depicting ability cooldowns. The rest of the UI overhaul is done with a variety of other mods; see my UI Customization post for which modes I use to do that.

  22. Jyuri says:

    Hi Theck,

    Wanted to drop a thanks for all your wonderful write ups that helped squishy protection paladin players like me, to be better at what I’m doing.

    Just wanted to reaffirm that as of current, equipping the DPS cloak, Gong-Lu, Strength of Xuen, would benefit more than the tanking cloak, Qian-Ying, Fortitude of Niuzao even with the nerf, due to the fact that there is our top stats haste, further more now that eternal flame are more beneficial than sacred shield, critical stats actually do help by giving eternal flame a better than nothing chance of critical proc?

    As for the meta gem, I believe the tanking meta gem, Indomitable Primal Diamond, is still top of the list due to the fact it reduces all damage type by 20%.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Theck says:

      I’d disagree about the cloak. I think the tanking cloak is far better for survivability, hands-down. Use it for any difficult boss. That said, if you approach the content after you outgear it (like, for example, only making it to normal mode Garrosh after a month or two of gear upgrades under your belt) then it’s a toss-up. That said, almost none of the bosses in SoO are DPS checks on normal, so there’s little advantage to be had by choosing the DPS cloak over the tanking cloak.

      • Arinee says:

        I am inclined towards personally going towards the dps cloak for the haste mastery reasons alone, but it would mainly depend on a few things, I would not say its stronger then a chance to not die every two minutes , (a tank death can lead to a wipe, especially if say a bres was used on a healer or dps in 10m), I am going the dps one first due to greed for the dps and the better stats, but I will get both and most likely use dps for farm, and any progression or harder boss the tanking one

  23. michael says:

    Would dwarf be a good choice for pve prot paladin in mist of pandaria also what would be the all out best proffesions thx

    • Theck says:

      Yes, dwarf is fine. In my opinion Dwarf and Human have the best racials (Stoneform for dwarves, Every Man For Himself for humans).

      Best professions are probably Blacksmithing (extra sockets) and then one of Leatherworking (stamina), Enchanting (stamina), Jewelcrafting (better gems), Mining (stamina), Inscription (stamina), Engineering (glider, nitro belt, glove tinker). I’d avoid tailoring, herbalism, and skinning as they give little practical benefit.

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