Taugrim's Prot Pally PVP Guide / Vids (Cata)

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85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
Guide to Protection Paladin 4.0 PVP (Videos)

This guide discusses Prot Pally PVP in the Cataclysm (Cata) expansion, Patch 4.0.6. This guide provides comprehensive written material and narrated PVP videos.

This guide was originally posted on my blog and I am providing a copy here.

Revision History

The first version of this Guide was posted on Oct 14 2010. It has been through many revisions since then; here is the change log for recent revisions:

* 2011 Mar 05: updated 4.1 notes
* 2011 Feb 28: added links to comments that document previous Patch changes (4.0.3a, 4.0.6). Added my take on 4.1 changes
* 2011 Feb 24: added note re: glyphing SoT for Expertise
* 2011 Feb 22: added more notes on Resil
* 2011 Feb 12: rewrote heal macros for clarity (and hopefully so that they work more consistently)
* 2011 Feb 11: mass update for 4.0.6

Table of Contents

1. Mechanics Overview
2. Resource Mechanics
3. Burst and Sustained Damage Mechanics
4. Healing Mechanics
5. Bubble and Mitigation Mechanics
6. Crowd Control Mechanics
7. Seal Mechanics
8. Team Support Mechanics
9. Recommended Talents and Glyphs
10. Stats / Enchants / Gems / Gear Recommendations
11. General PVP Tips and Tactics
12. Macros
13. UI / Addons / Power Auras
14. Recent Patch Changes
15. Narrated PVP Videos
16. About the Author

1. Mechanics Overview

The good news is that Prot is a viable PVP spec :)

Prot is a good fit for you if:
* You want to be a melee, and
* You want to be durable, and
* You want to have the capability of generating solid burst damage, and
* You want to have tools to support groups but understand your healing is limited to spot-healing at best

Here is a brief summary of the spec’s mechanics:

1. Our spec-defining ability is Avenger's Shield (AS), which is an excellent ranged ability that interrupts/silences the target and when glyphed can provide good burst and apply a daze effect
2. Our cast-time heals are mana inefficient and do not heal for large amounts. We do have a mana-free "mitigation" heal called Word of Glory (WoG) that is instant cast
3. We have multiple mitigation abilities to work with, and when chained together they significantly increase time-to-live
4. Shield of the Righteous (SotR) is our new melee “Execute” ability capable of big burst when used with 3 stacks of HoPo and the Sacred Duty (SD) buff
5. Mana typically isn't an issue as long as you keep casting Judgement and are careful not to spam-cast cast-time heals
6. Our Judgement spells have been replaced by one Judgement spell. The downside to this is we don’t have the pre-4.0 flexibility of mixing Seals and Judgments with different effects, e.g. the popular combination of Judgement of Justice (applies debuff that limits run speed) with the damage-over-time (DoT) Seal. To apply the run speed limiting debuff in 4.0 you have to use Seal of Justice but the catch is your damage will take a significant hit relative to using Seal of Truth, which is a scaled-down version of the old Seal of Vengeance / Corruption
7. We no longer cast Holy Shield (HS); the HS buff is triggered through the use of Shield of the Righteous (SotR) or WoG. The HS buff has a modest impact in PVP – it increases damage blocked from 30% to 40% (mitigation not chance)
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/15/2011 1:44 PM PDT
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
2. Resource Mechanics

We have two resources to manage:

1. Mana
2. Holy Power

We generate mana via the Judgments of the Wise built-in passive which generates 30% of our mana over 10 seconds. The Sanctuary talent also generates mana when we Block or Dodge. That being said, there are some situations where you may find yourself getting low on mana:

* You are chain casting heals, e.g. Flash of Light (FoL)
* Your target is > 10 yards away so you can’t cast Judgement
* You use mana-intensive abilities, such as Holy Radiance (HR) or Consecration without the talent Hallowed Ground (HG)

I’ve found it helpful to invest 2 points in Improved Judgement (IJ) to extend the range of Judgement to 30 yards. More on this later. I don’t think HG is worth the investment so I only use Consecration when I have enough mana to work with.

We still have Divine Plea (DP) to regen mana, but with the change in 4.0.3a to Shield of the Templar, the most valuable use for Prot for DP is to generate 3 Holy Power instantly.

As of Patch 4.0, all Paladins have a new class mechanic called Holy Power (HoPo). For Prot, Hammer of the Righteous (HotR) and Crusader Strike (CS) build 1 HoPo per use – assuming the blow is not dodge/parried and the target is not immune – up to 3 total (note that HotR and CS now have a shared 3-second cooldown).

We have to manage HoPo carefully. It’s advisable to use your ranged attacks (e.g. AS, Judgment) while closing a gap so that you can cast HotR / CS as soon as you are in melee range to build HoPo.

At 85, you can spend HoPo to cast:

* SotR for the burst damage
* WoG for the heal
* Inquisition for the damage buff

It’s worth noting that HoPo builds up even when you are using an ability on a bubbled or Ice Block’d target – so even though you can’t harm your target you can build HoPo.

I like the HoPo mechanic because it adds flexibility and situational control – YOU can choose how to spend it and it makes gameplay more dynamic. It reminds me of the awesome Righteous Fury mechanic from Warhammer Online.

3. Burst and Sustained Damage Mechanics

We generate most of our burst from the following abilities:

* AS
* SotR
* Hammer of Wrath (HoW) on targets at 20% or less health

I do not typically use Inquisition in PVP. While it’s excellent for AOE PVE tanking, the Inquisition buff is not guaranteed to provide value in PVP given that you may be CC’d during the time the buff is up. One case where Inquisition is valuable is when casting it prior to a high-burst sequence with Avenging Wrath and a 3-HoPo SotR with Sacred Duty up.

It’s worth noting that these (and some other Paladin) attacks deal Holy damage, which is not mitigated by any resistance. If you’ve read my class guides for other games, you may recall that I favor non-Physical damage, e.g. Swordmaster’s Spirit damage in Warhammer Online and Orc Reaver’s Fire damage in LOTRO, because targets tend to feel equally squishy when you are dealing damage that is not mitigated by armor or resistance.

AS has a 15-second cooldown, and that cooldown can be reset via a 20% proc (with talents) from HotR / CS. Because of this, you want to use AS early and often. Pre-4.0 sometimes we would wait for the right moment to use AS (e.g. chain CC a Healer/Caster for a burst sequence) but that rationale isn’t as valid anymore.

SotR packs a wallop when it crits at 3 HoPo. In general, you should not use SotR unless

* You have 3 HoPo, due to the damage scaling, and
* You have the Sacred Duty (SD) buff proc from Judgment

The SD buff guarantees that SotR will crit. Given that our Crit % has dropped significantly at 85 (i.e. from ~25% at 80 to < 10% at 85) it’s unlikely that SotR will crit without SD.

We generate solid sustained damage from our Seal of Truth (SoT) ability, which is a scaled-down version of the pre-4.0 Seal of Vengeance / Seal of Corruption. It’s also our only DoT so it’s useful for whittling away kiting targets or when we’re CC’d. As of 4.0.6 all single target attacks (including Judgement, Hammer of Wrath, Exorcism, and Templar’s Verdict) can now trigger SoT.

CS and HotR are our main spam attacks so their total damage adds up – typically ~20% of my total damage. They share the same cooldown. CS is Physical damage and delivers decent burst. HotR is an AOE that delivers low single-target Physical damage and AOE Holy damage. I generally favor CS over HotR because it hits significantly harder and PVP is often about focus-firing one target at a time.
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:37 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
4. Healing Mechanics

With the increase in HP pool sizes to 120K+ in blue PVP gear and the lack of scaling for our cast-time heals, we are limited in terms of our in-combat healing capability at 85:

* FoL is very mana intensive (~20% of total mana) but only heals for ~8% of max HP
* Divine Light (DL) has a long cast time and is therefore easy to pushback/interrupt/silence. Holy Light (HL) takes as long to cast as DL, but if you have the Crusader talent proc HL heals for more than DL, so HL is a nice patch-up heal after you get a killing blow and can freecast a slow heal
* WoG heals for ~4% of max HP per HoPo, so it’s not worth using the cooldown unless you have multiple stacks or you really need a heal immediately to buy time
* We have an AoE HoT called Holy Radiance (HR)
* Lay on Hands (LoH) is our silver bullet, but it has a lengthy cooldown (10m or 7m glyphed) and is not usable in arena
* Seal of Insight (SoI) isn’t guaranteed to proc on melee auto attacks and it heals for a very low amount, so this seal is not worth using for Prot. The mana regen effect from SoI is not useful given that we have other effective mana regen tools already

I consider WoG and HR to be “mitigation heals” – they will not outheal incoming damage but they will enable you to stretch out a fight. Check out the Cataclysm 2v2 video posted Dec 22nd in Section 15 – you can see that WoG healing enabled me or my partner to stay alive long enough to win matches.

When you overheal with WoG, with the Guarded by the Light (GbtL) talent that excess WoG healing is converted into a temporary bubble.

To boost your healing output, you can glyph SoI and WoG (credit: Donnar), but given that our heals don’t scale well at 85, I would recommend taking 0 or 1 of those glyphs.

5. Bubble Mechanics

As with pre-4.0, we can cast Hand of Protection (HoP) on friendly targets to bubble them from Physical damage.

What has changed in 4.0/Cata:

* Sacred Shield (SS) is now a Ret talent and therefore not available to Holy or Prot @ 85
* Divine Shield (DS) duration was reduced from 12 to 8 second
* Divine Protection (DPr) has been changed to a 10-second 20% damage mitigation ability for the Paladin on a 1-min cooldown that no longer procs the Forbearance debuff. So this is an ability that should get a lot of use whenever you are taking focus fire. It is dispellable
* The passive talent Ardent Defender (AD) was changed from a passive to on-use ability (ugh!) and is dispellable
* We gain an awesome mitigation ability at 85 called Guardian of Ancient Kings (GoAK) which is not dispellable and mitigates damage by 50% for 12s. This ability in some ways is better than DS because your damage output is not affected, the duration is 50% longer, and it does not put Forbearance on you

Per Tullkas’s testing, when you use both DPr and AD, they stack additively (20% + 20% = 40% total mitigation, or 60% damage taken). DPr / AD seem to stack multiplicatively with GoAK; i.e. if you have GoAK and DPr up at the same time, you take 40% damage (50% mitigated by GoAK, then 20% of the remaining 50% of the damage is mitigated by DPr).

When we block a melee attack with a shield, we mitigate 30% of the damage or 40% if HS is up. Note that we can’t block spells, which limits the value of the Block and Mastery stats.

6. Crowd Control Mechanics

Our stun, Hammer of Justice (HoJ), has a cooldown of 40 seconds with talents.

The daze (snare/slow) effect was removed from the base AS ability but you can and should glyph it back.

Aside from AS, our only “snare” ability is SoJ, but it’s not really a snare, it’s a run speed limiting debuff. As noted in the Overview, we can’t mix and match different Seals and Judgments as we did pre-4.0, because now there is only 1 Judgement spell. Note that SoJ only applies on melee attacks, so you have to close to melee range first before the debuff is applied, whereas pre-4.0 we could apply Judgement of Justice from range.

In 4.0.6 all Paladins can train Rebuke, which is a melee interrupt on a 10 sec cooldown that lockouts the target from the interrupted spell’s school for 4 sec.
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:39 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
7. Seal Mechanics

We have four Seals:

* Seal of Insight (SoI): chance to restore mana/health on melee hit
* Seal of Judgement (SoJ): applies run-buff removing debuff on melee hit
* Seal of Righteousness (SoR): adds Holy damage on melee hit
* Seal of Truth (SoT): same as the pre-4.0 SoV/SoC DoT on melee hit

SoI provides a very minor amount of healing and is therefore not helpful for Prot. In my experience you don’t need SoI for mana regen if you have IJ talented or when you are fighting melees and have Sanctuary talented as your Blocks regen mana. (FWIW, SoI isn’t useful for Prot PVE either, because we glyph SoT to provide an Expertise bonus, and this is necessary to reduce chance for a boss to Parry / Dodge, and the Parry decrease is a big factor as Parry resets a boss’s swing timer.)

SoJ is situational. I’ve found that the effect’s value has been decreased with the increased usage we get out of AS and the fact that you have to melee to apply the debuff, whereas pre-4.0 you could cast JoJ up to 10 yards away to apply the debuff.

SoR adds a flat amount of damage to melee attacks and Judgement but it never crits.

SoT is superior to SoR as a DPS seal in PVP. SoT DoT ticks (Censure in the Combat Log) can crit, and once SoT is stacked to 5, every attack delivers extra damage (Seal of Truth in the Combat Log). As of 4.0.6 all single target attacks (including Judgement, Hammer of Wrath, Exorcism, and Templar’s Verdict) can now trigger SoT.

8. Team Support Mechanics

As with pre-4.0, we can cast Hand of Protection (HoP) on friendly targets to bubble them from Physical damage.

Divine Guardian (DG) was changed to be an AOE raid buff that decreases damage taken – without transferring that damage to the Paladin – and this scales incredibly well the more friendly targets are under attack. Given the lack of damage transfer we can no longer use DG as a tool to pre-emptively break CC such as Sheep/Blind/etc. However, we still have Hand of Sacrifice (HoS) which transfers damage from the friendly target to the Paladin.

In mass combat it’s very helpful to cast DG and HR – this can buy just enough time for friendlies to survive to affect the outcome of a big fight.

In 4.0, the Druid buff Mark of the Wild (MotW) and Paladin buff Blessing of Kings (BoK) provide the same buff, so if you have a Druid in your party/raid you should buff Blessing of Might (BoM).
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:39 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
9. Recommended Talents and Glyphs

Here is the recommended 0/31/10 “Protribution” spec at 85:
http://www.wowhead.com/talent#sZGrMcRzdRRucbG:szcVdzmMz

Here are comments on the mechanics of select Prot talents:

1. Eternal Glory (EG): we are dependent on HoPo for our healing (WoG) and SotR burst damage, and EG makes 30% of your WoG casts consume no HoPo
2. Grand Crusader (GC): synergizes with AS by having a 20% chance to remove the cooldown when using HotR or CS. Amazing talent
3. Sacred Duty: synergizes with SotR to make it crit more often. Amazing talent
4. Shield of the Templar (SotT): this talent provides multiple benefits – in particular it reduces GoAK’s cooldown from 5 min to 3 min and enables Divine Plea to instantly generate 3 HoPo

Guarded by the Light (GbtL) buffs WoG healing and causes it to proc the HS block buff, which provides a modest mitigation increase. GbtL is no longer must-have as it was in 4.0 before 4.0.3a, but I still take it.

You’ll notice that I took all the Prot tree talents (31 points total) except the following:

* Toughness: armor is useless against bleeds and non-Physical damage (i.e. Spells)
* Hallowed Ground: buffs Consecration. I passed on this talent because most players will simply move of Consecration and the cooldown of Consecration is too high for my liking
* Reckoning: don’t spec into Reckoning now because not only is Seal damage nerfed (previously, Reckoning’s extra melee attacks proc’d your Seal) – in addition, Reckoning now only procs off Blocks not your melee attacks (credit: Elemental)

As far as where to invest talent points outside of the Prot tree:

* Crusade: buffs the damage from our main spam attacks so it’s worth considering. As of 4.0.3a, also procs the Crusader buff which increases the next HL heal by 300%
* Improved Judgement (IJ): the extra 20 yard range for Judgement is surprisingly useful. It not only provides better ranged damage capability but also helps mana regeneration when you have no nearby targets to Judge and can drop a target down to the HoW threshold. Some Paladins IMO greatly underestimate IJ’s utility in PVP
* Rule of Law: provides a 15% increase in Crit rate for frequently-used abilities (CS/HotR and WoG)
* Pursuit of Justice (PoJ): buffs movement by 15%, which is better than any enchant. And it enables some CC effects cast on you to generate 1 HoPo

For Prime Glyphs: SotR and WoG are must-have. Your 3rd glyph should either be CS or SoT. With CS no longer generating HoPo if the target dodges/parries, it’s now worthwhile to glyph SoT for the Expertise buff, which should reduce your target’s chance to dodge by 2.5% and parry by 2.5%.

There are 2 must-have Major Glyphs:

1. Dazing Shield Major Glyph: applies the run debuff daze effect we had prior to 4.0
2. Focused Shield Major Glyph: this is the same glyph was had pre-4.0 for buffing AS damage

For the 3rd Major Glyph, I recommend taking Hammer of Justice (HoJ) – the extra 5 yards to our stun can be a life-saver. You can also slot LoH, which in 4.0.3a was changed from a Minor to Major glyph. Situationally (i.e. against Locks and DK’s) Turn Evil is very useful.

For Minor Glyphs: doesn’t really matter. I slotted both Blessings. I would have thought Insight would be worthwhile but you typically won’t go OOM – I slotted Truth.
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:41 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
10. Stats / Enchants / Gems / Gear Recommendations

Stats

Summary: Strength and Resilience are our most important PVP stats

* Each point of Strength grants 2 AP (2.10 with BoK/MotW) and through the Touched by the Light (TbtL) passive 0.60 Spell Power (0.63 with BoK/MotW). TbtL is the reason why Prot favors Strength over Attack Power (AP). If you want to boost your damage and healing, this is the stat to stack
* Resilience provides passive always-on mitigation (i.e. reduction) for all damage in PVP. If you want to improve your survivability, this is the most important stat. Note that once you have a full set of PVP gear, you probably won’t need to gem/enchant any Resil – what you get from gear and socket bonuses is sufficient – and in most PVP situations opponents won’t be targeting you anyway (unless you are the Flag Carrier)

Some players have theorized that Intellect is better than Strength point-for-point as many Paladin abilities have coefficients for Spell Power. Given that we “double-dip” from Str with the TbtL mechanic, Str is better point-for-point compared to Int.

Stat Myths

There are a lot of guides that are (unfortunately) providing misinformation about which stats to stack for Prot. I’ll go through stat myths one-by-one.

“Stack Mastery to boost your survivability”

The Prot Mastery Divine Bulwark boosts Block %, but Block doesn’t do anything against Spells. Mastery does provide some value against melee opponents but not enough to stack.

In addition, you can only block attacks from your front-facing and when you are not incapacitated.

You will gain far more survivability from Resilience than Mastery.

“Stack Stamina to boost your survivability”

Stam does not scale based on the amount of incoming damage whereas Resilience does. For other classes (esp Healers) there may be valid arguments for stacking Stam.

I have seen the benefits of passive mitigation, from stats such as Resilience, over Stam in other games – e.g. Toughness in WAR.

“Stack Stamina because it provides a DPS boost via Vengeance”

Vengeance only consistently stacks anywhere near max in PVE because bosses deal very high sustained DPS which more than offsets the fast rate of Vengeance decay. However in PVP you will rarely get to 75% max Vengeance, let alone 100%. You can easily test this in PVP with the Vengeance Status addon. If you watch any of my videos from Nov 27, 2010 on, you can see my Vengeance Status bar below the HoPo bar.

Keep in mind that any additional benefit from stacking Stam would only kick in after you reach the amount of Vengeance before stacking Stam. Therefore, stacking Stam for the DPS benefit would be as helpful as wearing a floatable life vest while driving a car to prevent drowning – it might help in that rare case you drive into a body of water but otherwise it’s of no value.

“Haste is a good stat for Prot”

Haste is pretty useless for Prot. Remember that Prot is an ability-cooldown-limited spec, not a global-cooldown-limited spec, and that the vast majority of our abilities are instant cast. The only benefits you get from stacking Haste are fasting cast-time heals and slightly faster auto-attacks. In most situations the only in-combat cast-time heal you’ll be able to reliably cast is FoL and it already has a short cast-time and its main mechanics issues (mana inefficiency, small healing amount) are not addressed with Haste.

If you are wondering why Ret Pallies talk about Haste so much – it reduces the cooldown of CS through the Sanctity of Battle talent, which is not applicable for Prot.

Enchants:
* Weapon: Landslide or Avalanche
* Shield: Titanium Plating - please note this is a must-have for the 50% Disarm reduction as we can't generate HoPo when Disarmed
* Head: 60 Str/35 Resil (PVP enchant)
* Shoulders: 50 Str/25 Crit (Therazane faction) or 50 Str / 25 Resil (PVP enchant)
* Back: 65 or 50 Crit
* Chest: 20 Stats, 15 Stats, or 40 Resil
* Wrist: 50 Str, 65 Crit, or 50 Hit
* Hands: 50 or 35 Strength
* Waist: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle for the 2nd gem slot
* Legs: Dragonscale Leg Armor
* Feet: 50 Hit

Gems:
* Red sockets: always Str
* Yellow sockets: Str/Crit, Str/Resil, or Resil
* Blue sockets: Str/Hit
* Meta socket: Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Str and 3% Increased Critical Damage)


Reforging:

Reforge the following stats to Hit until you reach the 5% cap, then reforge to Crit:

* Haste (almost completely useless for Prot)
* Mastery (only helpful against melees)
* Expertise (actually not that bad, reduces avoidance for any target)
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:43 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
Gear:

In general you should stick with PVP gear instead of PVE gear, given that there are 1+ PVP items with Strength and Resilience for each slot. You want to use the Pally Scaled PVP set and off-set plate pieces and the accessories that have Strength on them.

Make sure that your first purchase with Conqueror points is a/the weapon – this is the case for any MDPS class or Hunter. Get the Mace (Vicious Gladiator’s Bonecracker) or Axe (Vicious Gladiator’s Hacker), as these have the highest max-damage number for 2.6 Str weapons. The Sword (Vicious Gladiator’s Slicer) is a no-no because it has a lower max-damage number and PVP is all about burst. If you play a Human or Dwarf Paladin, take the Mace over the Axe per the 3 Expertise racial (contributed by: Marko, Tullkas).

For PVP shield, get Vicious Gladiator’s Shield Wall.

Aside from the classic PVP trinket which removes CC, we have two Str trinkets available that have different mechanics:

* Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s Badge of Victory: 1520 Str for 20 sec, 2 min cooldown, activated on-use
* Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s Insignia of Victory: 912 Str for 20 sec, 1 min internal cooldown, proc chance of 15%

Which trinket (Insignia or Badge) depends on what are you trying to maximize:

* For controlled burst, go with the Badge
* For higher average benefit, go with the Insignia

For a great breakdown on the new PVP points systems and the order to buy PVP pieces, read Cynwise's excellent article on PVP Gear in Cataclysm for Season 9:
http://cynwise.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/battleground-pvp-gear-in-cataclysm-season-9/
If you want to understand the relationship between arena team rating and weekly max Conqueror points, check out Felbent’s chart:
http://femaledwarf.prettypls.com/pvp/conquest-points-calculator
Keep in mind that a Prot Pally can buy their 1H weapon with 2 days of Arena – Monday and Tuesday – it’s super easy.

The one non-PVP item you should consider picking up is Darkmoon Card Hurricane (DMCH), as Andy suggested:
the main reason for my post was to mention that this spec does really well with the Darkmoon Hurricane deck. Whether in BG’s or on the target dummy the proc from this trinket accounts for an average of 10% of my total damage done. Since it procs from all of my abilities (ranged & melee) it adds that little bit of zing we sometimes need. Average damage is around 5k’ish but it can crit and I’ve seen 8k+ numbers from it previously. On my damage meter it’s normally sitting just below my melee or auto attack damage. If you don’t need the resilience from the other trinkets I would recommend grabbing this trinket for this spec.


DMCH synergizes great with our class mechanics!
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:44 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
11. General PVP Tips and Tactics

1. When closing the gap to opponents, open with AS and Judgement – there is no point anymore in saving AS. You want to use CS or HotR as soon as you are in melee range to start building HoPo and to proc the cooldown reset for AS
2. Use enemy Pets as Holy Power batteries, esp as you are making your way to your target while they are kiting you. Against Mages, do not get caught in No Man’s Land – where you are taking fire from the Mage and their pets but are out of melee range of any of them
3. Remember that CS / HotR will not build Holy Power on an Immune (e.g. bubbled / Ice Block’d) target or a target that dodges or parries your attack (e.g. Rogue with Evasion), so plan accordingly
4. If you are low on health and have 3 Holy Power and your opponent is also at low health but above Hammer of Wrath range, you can choose to finish with SotR or heal with WoG. If you go with WoG you have a 30% chance to get an EG proc which restores those 3 Holy Power and you can use SotR immediately. It really depends on the situation, but against DPS classes going the WoG route is the more conservative play in 1v1s
5. If you need to bubble yourself to heal up, it’s a good idea to use a GCD while you’re bubbled to cast Judgement, which procs your mana regen. Then spam-cast FoL. That way you can heal up without going bone dry on mana
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:44 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
12. Macros

Macros can be a HUGE help for simplifying your keybinds and thereby improving gameplay. Below are some of the key macros you see me using throughout my videos.

CS / Judgement:

This macro is simply for convenience, so I can hit the same button at least 3 times in a row when engaging a target in melee range:

#showtooltip

/castsequence reset=2 crusader strike, judgement, crusader strike

I do also keybind Judgement separately, so that I can use it without having to use CS first.

HotR / Judgement:

Same macro as the previous one, but for HotR

#showtooltip

/castsequence reset=2 hammer of the righteous, judgement, hammer of the righteous

Bubble Me or You or Us:

#showtooltip

/cast [mod:ctrl] divine guardian; [help] hand of protection; divine shield

Here’s how this macro works:

* If you hit the macro with the Ctrl key, you bubble everyone else
* If you have a friendly player targeted and you hit the macro, you bubble them with HoP
* If you don’t have a friendly player targeted you bubble yourself with DS

As a side note, I map this macro to the “B” key (“B” as in “Bubble”) for easy recall.

Mitigation Chaining (DP / GoAK / AD) :

/cast [mod:ctrl] guardian of ancient kings
/castsequence reset=30 divine protection, guardian of ancient kings, ardent defender

Divine Plea On / Off:

#showtooltip
/cancelaura Divine Plea
/cast Divine Plea

Pressing this once will cast DP, which generates 3 HoPo, and pressing it again will remove DP. This is a great macro if you need an emergency WoG heal or SotR.

Cast-Time Heal:

#showtooltip
/cast [mod:ctrl] holy light
/cast [@focus, mod:shift, nodead] flash of light; flash of light

If you press Ctrl with this macro, you cast HL. Otherwise, you cast FoL on your focus (with Shift) or your current target / self.

WoG Focus Heal:

#showtooltip
/cast [mod:ctrl] holy radiance
/cast [@focus, mod:shift, nodead] word of glory; word of glory

If you press Ctrl with this macro, you cast HR. Otherwise, you cast WoG on your focus (with Shift) or your current target / self.

Hand of Sacrifice:

#showtooltip hand of sacrifice
/cast [help] hand of sacrifice; [target=focus, exists, nodead] hand of sacrifice

If you have a friendly player targeted, this casts HoS on them. Otherwise this macro casts it on your focus target, if you have one.

In-Combat Aura Switch:

/cancelaura

/castsequence retribution aura, resistance aura

Before engaging in combat, use this macro to get to the Aura you want to have up. Then during combat you can simply hit the macro to switch to the other Aura. For simplicity, I map this macro to the “A” key (“A” as in “Aura”) for easy recall.

Maximum Burst (credit: Spiegelmann):

Cast Inquisition (with your 2 HoPo) for 8 secs

Activate my macro:
#showtooltip
/use Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s badge of Victory
/cast Divine Plea
/cast Avenging Wrath

Then SotR

PVP Self-Buff:

No Druid around, use this:

/castsequence reset=10 blessing of kings, seal of truth

With a Druid around, use this:

/castsequence reset=10 blessing of might, seal of truth
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:47 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
13. UI / Addons / Power Auras

To turn on enemy health bars with class colors with the default UI functionality:
1. to show the health bar over all players, use the keybind for Show All Name Plates
2. to color the health bars of enemy players per their class: check the box for: Options | Interface| Combat | Class Colors in Nameplates

I recommend the following addons specifically for Prot:

* Range Display: this simple but highly useful addon shows distance to target, focus, and mouseover
* Power Auras: highly customizable addon that can display buffs, debuffs, procs, etc. Non-trivial to learn. Below are some Auras I use
* OmniCC: displays numeric cooldown over your abilities
* Quartz: elegant cast bar addon, shows latency
* Rogue Spam Reborn: suppresses annoying error messages including "you have no target" or "out of range" et al
* Vengeance Status: displays your current Vengeance AP buff. RAWR!

For Arenas, the following two addons are must-have:

* Gladius: provides enemy health, mana, and casting bars
* Gladiminish: enhances Gladius to provide diminishing return timers for CC


Power Auras

Please do not ask me technical questions about how to use PA, you can ask those on the addon site.

Here are some of my auras:

* Hammer of Wrath: when HoW is usable on your target, this aura displays the HoW icon and makes a clear sword unsheathing sound

Version:4.4; ignoremaj:false; icon:INV_Hammer_04; buffname:Hammer of Wrath; x:99; bufftype:7; owntex:true; isResting:0; inVehicle:0; sound:50; exact:true; size:0.15; texmode:2; ismounted:0

* Sacred Duty: when SD procs, this aura displays the SD icon with the timer til the buff expires and makes a clear bell ringing sound

Version:4.4; ignoremaj:false; icon:Ability_Paladin_JudgementRed; buffname:Sacred Duty; x:136; owntex:true; isResting:0; mine:true; inVehicle:0; sound:36; exact:true; size:0.15; texmode:2; ismounted:0; timer.g:0.1882; timer.h:1.11; timer.enabled:true; timer.r:0.1451; timer.cents:false; timer.Relative:BOTTOM; timer.Transparent:true

* Crusade: if you land the KB on an opponent, you get this buff icon with timer. The buff increases your next HL cast by 300%

Version:4.9; ignoremaj:false; icon:Spell_Holy_Crusade; buffname:Crusader; x:172; owntex:true; isResting:0; mine:true; inVehicle:0; sound:61; exact:true; size:0.15; texmode:2; ismounted:0; timer.g:0.1882; timer.h:1.11; timer.enabled:true; timer.r:0.1451; timer.cents:false; timer.Relative:BOTTOM; timer.Transparent:true
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:48 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
14. Recent Patch Changes

The Devs are still making a lot of tweaks to Paladins in Patch 4.x. Below is a summary of changes (documented and undocumented) for recent patches and their impacts.

Current Live Version: 4.0.6

Patch 4.1 Changes

* Word of Glory now has a 20-second cooldown. This is a monster nerf for Prot and Ret in PVP. Here’s the explanation given by Blizzard:

Word of Glory: We want Retribution and Protection paladins to have reasonable healing on themselves or others, but we know paladins sometimes feel like they can’t use their Holy Power on anything but their heals in some situations. We’d rather these two specs spend most of their Holy Power on damage-dealing abilities, with occasional healing.

IMO Prot and Ret will be steeply nerfed PVP if the WoG nerf goes in with even a 5-sec cooldown let alone 20-sec, without some other strong compensating mechanics, e.g. increased CC.

Back-to-back WoG heals (via Eternal Glory for either spec, or Divine Purpose for Ret) or WoG heals cast within 2 GCDs of each other (e.g. WoG, Divine Plea, WoG) are a huge part of what make Prot and Ret viable in PVP.

Anyone who debates that point IMO is either ignorant about the mechanics of those specs in PVP or biased against Paladins.

I’m very perplexed by the reasoning for the nerf mentioned by Blizzard. Granted, Blue posters often get skewered / nitpicked by players for anything they say, but this is one case where I think the concerns of the playerbase are entirely warranted.

I have read some inane arguments that Prot and Ret shouldn’t have offhealing capability in PVP, but what the people saying those things fail to take into account is that relative to other DPS classes, we lack CC. As such, we heal because that’s what is needed in some situations to help friendly players, because we can’t peel to the extent other classes do.

* Walk in the Light (passive) removes the cooldown of Word of Glory. N/A for Prot
* Divine Guardian cooldown is now 3 minutes, up from 2. Minor nerf to Prot
* Grand Crusader will now generate a charge of Holy Power if the Avenger Shield it procs is used within 6 seconds. Very nice buff that should help offset the nerf to HoPo generation in 4.0.6
* Divine Storm now generates 1 point of Holy Power if it hits (i.e. successfully lands on) 4 or more targets. N/A for Prot
* Sacred Shield’s internal cooldown has been increased to 60 seconds, up from 30. N/A for Prot
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:51 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
15. Narrated PVP Videos

Below are my narrated PVP videos, in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Although some of the mechanics in the older videos are outdated, there are points I make in each video which are timeless.

2011 Jan 31 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 3v3 Arena Volume 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiItZCpsIQw

2011 Jan 28 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 3v3 Arena Volume 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dFLpdcRRII

2011 Jan 19 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 2v2 Arena Volume 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ee2Ww0-8Ug

2011 Jan 11 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): Victory by Landslide
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wjl0mhLmfE

2011 Jan 08 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 2v2 Arena Volume 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stmHTqaazro

2011 Jan 05 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 2v2 Arena Volume 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmNdlOx8Vzc

2010 Dec 31 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOzSMTfDh-4

2010 Dec 22nd (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 2v2 Arena Volume 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_heJqGKslQ

2010 Nov 27 (WotLK, Patch 4.0.3a):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjmSNYx762o

2010 Oct 24 (WotLK, Patch 4.0.1):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFyhygPMU1s

2010 Oct 21 (WotLK, Patch 4.0.1):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG7kAt1yGh4

2010 Oct 16 (WotLK, Patch 4.0.1):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjW5mq4gr7c

2010 Oct 14 (WotLK, Patch 4.0.1):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sITyCMHPjgo
Edited by Taugrimm on 2/3/2011 11:50 PM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
16. About the Author

Added this section due to this (predictable) post on the WoW forums, prior to the launch of Cataclysm:
It doesn’t look like you have that good pvp gear and experience, i wonder what prompted you to make this post ?


My Paladin hit level 80 over the summer of 2010. I didn't get to 5k PVP GearScore until 2 months before Patch 4.0, so I had very little time to Arena before 4.0 launched.

I earned the 2k rating Achievement in 2v2 and 3v3 in Cataclysm. You can see my Arena teams here:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/wildhammer/taugrimm/pvp


The following is content only on this WoW thread.

If my name sounds familiar, I'm the same author of the WAR Bright Wizard and Swordmaster, LOTRO Captain and Orc Reaver, and Allods Melee Healer guides and narrated PVP videos.

If any of you cats played on Alliance side on Agamaggan back in 2006-2007 in either Vanguard or The Night Janitors - I played Maeglor the Feral Druid.

A. Thanks and Recognition

The leveling process is not my thing (I love endgame), but I was inspired by Stax's excellent Protribution guide to level up my Pally to play the Prot spec in PVP:
http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=22048401344

Also wanted to thank Jagoss for saving time by discovering the best Prot Pally PVP spec based on the 3.3 mechanics (the 0/58/13 spec).
Edited by Taugrimm on 3/13/2011 12:52 AM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
reserved
85 Blood Elf Paladin
3125
Hey man great post. Any chance you can post a list of all the addons you use? I like your interface a lot!
Kudos for the guide. I'm interested in picking up prot as my offspec for pvp if I continue playing through Cata.
90 Human Paladin
13665
Have you considered a different strategy of prot PvP as a defender of nodes, capper of flags, and just overall harassment spec? Our burst is MUCH less of a person's hit points at 85, so I've been considering a defensive PvP setup that's been working well for me so far (without PotI because I don't want to get used to something that's being nerfed that badly).

Right now, my PvP gear is gemmed for STAM and RESILIENCE. I'm basically using a resilience hybrid gem in every slot, except for pure resil gems in their appropriate colour, and pure stam in their appropriate colour. I've reforged any crit on my PvP gear into either dodge/parry or mastery.

It's amazing with tank level damage reduction stacked with nearly capped resilience, how hard you are to kill. If a healer is healing you, a team of 5 can't take you down, even all casters. The dodge/parry/mastery are there for Reckoning procs and melee attackers. Reckoning with Seal of Insight is a lot of health and mana back sometimes.
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2735
Nice guide.
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
Hey man great post. Any chance you can post a list of all the addons you use? I like your interface a lot!


Thanks.

Addons are listed in Section 13 of the Guide, excerpt is below:

13. Addons / Power Auras

I recommend the following addons specifically for Prot:

* Range Display: this simple but highly useful addon shows distance to target, focus, and mouseover
* Power Auras: highly customizable addon that can display buffs, debuffs, procs, etc. Non-trivial to learn. Below are some Auras I use
* OmniCC: displays numeric cooldown over your abilities
* Vengeance Status: displays your current Vengeance AP buff. RAWR!


Have you considered a different strategy of prot PvP as a defender of nodes, capper of flags, and just overall harassment spec? Our burst is MUCH less of a person's hit points at 85, so I've been considering a defensive PvP setup that's been working well for me so far (without PotI because I don't want to get used to something that's being nerfed that badly).


I'll let you know when I have:
a. hit 85 on Live
b. been able to spend some meaningful time as Prot at 85 in at least a baseline set of PVP gear

Right now, my PvP gear is gemmed for STAM and RESILIENCE. I'm basically using a resilience hybrid gem in every slot, except for pure resil gems in their appropriate colour, and pure stam in their appropriate colour. I've reforged any crit on my PvP gear into either dodge/parry or mastery.


I don't think gemming that way makes sense, per our class mechanics.

We get a double-bang from Str: AP as well as SP from the GbtL 60% conversion. I.e. you stack Str, you not only improve your damage but healing as well. Self-healing is a bit part of Prot's game now in 4.x, whereas in 3.x our healing capability was very limited and mana inefficient.

Some people have argued that they get some AP from stacking Stamina per Vengeance, but the reality is it is very difficult to get anywhere near a full Vengeance AP buff in PVP due to the fast rate of decay, let alone 25% of the buff. Once I got the Vengeance addon it was very easy for me to see. As such, stacking Stamina will not practically provide any AP benefit from Vengeance in 99% of cases, although of course you have a much bigger HP pool to work with, and you can't DPS when you're dead.

It makes no sense to stack Mastery for PVP given that spells in WoW are unblockable.

It's amazing with tank level damage reduction stacked with nearly capped resilience, how hard you are to kill. If a healer is healing you, a team of 5 can't take you down, even all casters. The dodge/parry/mastery are there for Reckoning procs and melee attackers. Reckoning with Seal of Insight is a lot of health and mana back sometimes.


It is true with high Stam/Resil + SoI we are very durable, but if you have a pocket healer, that IMO is less reason to stack Stam/Resil.

SoI's main benefit is healing not mana. If you are facing melees you'll regen mana on block, and we get mana from Judgement as well.

There are far better places to invest your talent points than Reckoning given the new tree design. See Section 9 of the Guide.
85 Blood Elf Paladin
3125
Have you considered a different strategy of prot PvP as a defender of nodes, capper of flags, and just overall harassment spec? Our burst is MUCH less of a person's hit points at 85, so I've been considering a defensive PvP setup that's been working well for me so far (without PotI because I don't want to get used to something that's being nerfed that badly).

Right now, my PvP gear is gemmed for STAM and RESILIENCE. I'm basically using a resilience hybrid gem in every slot, except for pure resil gems in their appropriate colour, and pure stam in their appropriate colour. I've reforged any crit on my PvP gear into either dodge/parry or mastery.

It's amazing with tank level damage reduction stacked with nearly capped resilience, how hard you are to kill. If a healer is healing you, a team of 5 can't take you down, even all casters. The dodge/parry/mastery are there for Reckoning procs and melee attackers. Reckoning with Seal of Insight is a lot of health and mana back sometimes.


That's an interesting perspective. I might have to try that as an offspec once I'm 85. Gotta get 80 first :)
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