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

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85 Blood Elf Paladin
6870
Once again, great job keeping up with the changes and such. Though I don't exactly like the career prospects of being a flag carrier or a node defender, it's good to know there's still life in the Prot PvP community. Those who want to stick us back in dungeons and raids can kindly stick it where the Holy Light don't shine.
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
I've been trying to upload a 4.0.3a video to YouTube since last night but the upload has failed twice. Hopefully 3rd time's the charm.

Was looking for some info for my paladin for Cata and stumbled upon this guide from my old 1v1 in friend in Warhammer. Thanks for the writeup Taug, glad paladins have you as a part of this community.


Hey Skragg, it's been a long time :)

While server-based PVP has its downsides (esp with faction population imbalance), I do miss facing the same skilled opponents from the other side. We had some great fights.

Is your guild still playing Aion? I couldn't tolerate the grind, never made it to 50.

Once again, great job keeping up with the changes and such. Though I don't exactly like the career prospects of being a flag carrier or a node defender, it's good to know there's still life in the Prot PvP community. Those who want to stick us back in dungeons and raids can kindly stick it where the Holy Light don't shine.


The pendulum has swung quite a bit in the other direction, but I wouldn't say it's swung so far that we'll be pigeon-holed into being an FC or node defender.
Hey Skragg, it's been a long time :)

While server-based PVP has its downsides (esp with faction population imbalance), I do miss facing the same skilled opponents from the other side. We had some great fights.

Is your guild still playing Aion? I couldn't tolerate the grind, never made it to 50.



No, most of us left shortly after release. Some of us came back to wow, some back to Warhammer.

Question: Any idea how our heals as prot, specifically WoG will scale at 85? As it is now in 264+ pvp gear I can cast 3pt WoG's for about 25% of my life or more. It would be nice if at 85 we still saw the same or similar return on it, but with 150k+ health pools a 12-15k heal may not be that significant.
85 Human Paladin
4115
Hey man Great tips, I never really thought of Tanking in pvp. Have been prot for 80 levels now, and while i Was hard never pvp gemmed
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
Updated the paragraph on SoT vs SoR:
7. Seal Mechanics

SoT was nerfed in 4.0.3a, but I still prefer it over SoR as a damage seal. SoR adds a flat amount of damage to melee attacks and Judgement but it never crits. SoT DoT ticks can crit, and once SoT is stacked to 5 every attack delivers extra damage.


-----------------------------------------------
Question: Any idea how our heals as prot, specifically WoG will scale at 85? As it is now in 264+ pvp gear I can cast 3pt WoG's for about 25% of my life or more. It would be nice if at 85 we still saw the same or similar return on it, but with 150k+ health pools a 12-15k heal may not be that significant.


I don't know. Maybe someone in Beta can chime in. Most abilities tend to scale with level, so hopefully the same will apply to WoG.

-----------------------------------------------
Revised and updated the list of changes, documented and undocumented, and my take on the overall impact.

[quote]My comments are in italics. Please note some changes were undocumented in the Official Patch Notes.

Patch 4.0.3a Changes
* I have been observing a decrease in crit AS damage compared to 4.0.1, about 5% (undocumented change). I'm not sure if this is related, but I also noticed the Glyph description for Focused Shield say that it boosts damage by 30%. I can't remember what it said in 4.0.1 but I thought it was 100%


A reader of my blog posted that Agi/Crit damage Meta gem is basically broken, which will hopefully get fixed:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1118442024?page=1#16

The "broken" Meta gem, along with the reduction to the 5-stack SoT damage, may account for the ~5% damage decrease I've been seeing in my AS crits.
85 Draenei Paladin
3810
Thanks for the guide. I'm new to Prot PvP and this guide gave me a good understanding. Keep up the good work
80 Dwarf Death Knight
2015
I was a big fan of your Warhammer guides, despite being on the "other side" (They helped me understand how to kill Swordmasters as a Black Ork!) and I've been having a blast on my minipaladin. Needs a sticky, but I'll settle for bumping it to the top for now.
90 Blood Elf Paladin
6785
You are awesome! Thank you for this! Where were you all my life!?
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
My comments are in italics. Please note some changes were undocumented in the Official Patch Notes.

Patch 4.0.3a Changes
* I have been observing a decrease in crit AS damage compared to 4.0.1, about 5% (undocumented change). I'm not sure if this is related, but I also noticed the Glyph description for Focused Shield say that it boosts damage by 30%. I can't remember what it said in 4.0.1 but I thought it was 100%


A reader of my blog posted that Agi/Crit damage Meta gem is basically broken, which will hopefully get fixed:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1118442024?page=1#16

The "broken" Meta gem, along with the reduction to the 5-stack SoT damage, may account for the ~5% damage decrease I've been seeing in my AS crits.


One correction.

The 5-stack SoT damage that is added to melee attacks (and Judgement) does not apply to AS and is always listed as separate damage in the Combat Log (i.e. Seal of Truth damage).
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
I have a question though: what can we do against frost mages? There MUST be some way to kill them. I think I tried everything against them yet they can almost kite me to death.


so for example with a arcane mage and the slow spam... are you boned? is there any hope for a prot in 1v1 here?


I am wondering the same thing as mordio. Mages can spellsteal, but also arcane mages can keep you perma slowed with that spell (applied on casts now)


Before 4.0, Mages owned Prot, period. We couldn't meaningfully heal ourselves (aside from LoH) in combat and they'd CC/DPS us to death. Eventually going OOM was a real risk since they could kite us until DP wore off.

In 4.0.1 and 4.0.3, skilled Mages could beat a Prot consistently at even gear / skill levels. However, Mages who lacked good kiting technique / timing of CCs were beatable by Prot, partly thanks to PotI allowing us to stay alive long enough to survive their CC/DPS sequences. Some Mages complained about Prot but the really good ones learned to adjust their game against us, e.g. using silence much more aggressively. So you could beat average Mages but the good ones were tough.

In 4.0.3a, Mages have a significant mechanics advantage against Prot again. A number of classes got net-nerfed in 4.0.3a but Mages seem even stronger from a relative class standpoint than they were before. It is what it is, and it's not like Prot Pally is an easy matchup for other classes.


As I said in the Guide, Str and Resil are our two best stats for PVP. I did not gem for Resil as I figured that boosting damage + healing via Str would be more effective overall.

However, with Patch 4.0.3a, I found my viability against casters, esp in 1v1s/duels, went down significantly. Mages, Spriests, and Locks of similar gear level were able to beat me consistently. Simply put, I was not able to outheal their damage, partly due to vulnerability to CC and counters to cast-time heals such as FoL.

I've been wondering if swapping out some Str for Resil would improve my ability to handle casters. So last night I switched out three +34 Str gems for three +34 Resil gems and the ICC rep ring for Relentless, bringing my Resil from ~1300 (~41% mit) to ~1460 (~46.5% mit).

Against casters, this has made a HUGE difference. I tested in duels against Mages (various specs), Spriests, and Locks (various specs). I was able to win a decent number of fights, even against well-geared, competent players. Granted, in many cases I did have to bubble to win, but it was worth it.

How does the extra Resil help? Basically it stretches out a fight, allowing me to get more WoG casts and lasting longer before having to bubble and not forcing me into FoL, which leaves us vulnerable to counters and lockouts.

I have some footage recorded. Not sure people would be interested in seeing a video, given that Cata is just a few days away.
85 Orc Shaman
0
Whoa whoa whoa, are you the same Taugrim that wrote the guides I followed religiously in Warhammer (Swordmaster and Bright Wizard) and in Aion too?

Zomg it is you, I remember your Youtube channel being taugrimtaugrim and I recognize your voice. Dude, you're probably the single most helpful MMO player in the entire world for how many different people you've helped in so many different games.
Edited by Primacy on 12/4/2010 9:06 PM PST
85 Worgen Mage
2500
how are prot pallies looking in 85? pvp-wise.. My pally is a Holy but I wanted to change from a defensive role to more of a offensive role in pvp and I'm not exactly a fan of ret spec.. any opinions?
85 Blood Elf Paladin
5105
Thanks for the many pointers. I'm new to the pally ensemble and this sheds much light. I read that you should try to stack str. How come your suggested enchants be AP based? Could anyone explain as i don't quite understand the mechanics, would appreciate it.
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
12/04/2010 8:51 PMPosted by Primacy
Whoa whoa whoa, are you the same Taugrim that wrote the guides I followed religiously in Warhammer (Swordmaster and Bright Wizard) and in Aion too?

Zomg it is you.


:)

12/05/2010 4:48 AMPosted by Nagatô
how are prot pallies looking in 85? pvp-wise.. My pally is a Holy but I wanted to change from a defensive role to more of a offensive role in pvp and I'm not exactly a fan of ret spec.. any opinions?


We'll see soon, won't we.

People keep asking about projections at 85, but the bottom-line is the game will continue to change between now and the time when a significant portion of the playerbase is 85 and has a baseline set of PVP gear.

[quote="12519830239"]Thanks for the many pointers. I'm new to the pally ensemble and this sheds much light. I read that you should try to stack str. How come your suggested enchants be AP based? Could anyone explain as i don't quite understand the mechanics, would appreciate it.[/quote]

I would enchant Str or Resil in every slot if end-game enchants existed, but they don't. So we have to make do with enchants that are functional if not ideal.

Speaking of stats, I was very encouraged by my testing over the weekend with swapping out some Str gems for Resil gems (three +34 Resil gems). I was able to beat well-geared, competent casters in 1v1s. Not every time, but enough so that I didn't feel like I was at a significant mechanics disadvantage.

I'm glad I bit the bullet and did the Resil testing even with Cata just a day away from launching, as it has altered my perception of statting. Stacking some Resil gems makes Prot feel "tanky" which for me is a good thing. It's a very functional blend of damage and durability.

Some folks have advocated stacking Block or Stam, but IMO Resil is far superior from a mechanics perspective. Block doesn't work against the damage which is the most threatening for us. Stam is a "linear" stat that doesn't scale based on the amount of incoming damage, whereas Resil applies to all incoming damage, so it therefore scales beautifully.

Over the weekend I survived some nasty heavy focus-fire solo against 3-4 opponents and managed to survived long enough to kite to safety. And I can still put out functional burst.

See you folks at 85, Cata is almost here :)
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
Just wanted to post a few thoughts while leveling up to 85. My Pally is at 82.

Some key things to note about Cataclysm and Prot PVP...

1. Our class mechanics have not changed from 4.0.3a pre-Cataclysm to Cataclysm. What we get are 3 new trainable abilities and 5 more mastery points.

The big change in the game's mechanics IMO was from 3.x to 4.0.3a, not from 4.0.3a to Cata. Relatively speaking, this is how I see it in terms of the degree of change

3.x (80) <---------------------------------------> 4.0.3a pre-Cata (80) <---> Cata (85)

2. Str is still be our best damage+healing stat by a mile, because of the coefficients for our abilities scale with AP+SP, and on top of that, the Touched by the Light mechanic converts Str to SP.

You will see threads by people claiming / speculating that Int and / or Haste will be superior, but given that our class mechanics have not changed, I think these people do not grasp how the spec works in PVP.

Part of the issue is people are making comparisons between:
a) their experience in 4.0.3a @ 80 with full epic gear
b) their experience in Cata @ 81-85 with greens and blues

Also, don't forget that we will have access to Str+Resil 1H weapon and shield at 85. These did not exist in WotLK. These will support Prot specs for Plate classes in PVP as our mechanics synergize with Str.

3. If you want to boost survivability in PVP, Resil will likely be your best option at 85.

This was the case in 4.0.3a before Cata. Resil is amazing. I was beating skilled players with superior gear (e.g. 2k+ arena gear/weapon) after stacking about 160 more Resil, including casters.

Mastery will still be meh in PVP due to block not providing mitigation against spells or bleeds.

----------------------------------------------------

I have not decidd whether I will make PVP vids prior to hitting 85. I might, if the 82->85 leveling haul is sufficiently tedious and time-consuming.

On a personal note, I'm tanking PVE again for the first time since TBC, when I was a Feral raid tank. It's great to get into groups and DF queues fast. I'm not sure why some folks have complained about Prot Pally threat (or survivability) in PVE, we have plenty of tools to work with.
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
Updated the recommended PVP spec @85:
11/16/2010 7:58 PMPosted by Taugrimm
9. Recommended Talents and Glyphs
Here is the recommended 0/31/10 "Protribution" spec at 85:
http://www.wowhead.com/talent#sZGrMcRzdRRucbG:szc


Now that we have the 5 extra talent points, we can reach
- 2/2 Pursuit of Justice: provides 15% movement bonus and 1 HoPo (8 sec internal CD) when we're stunned/feared/rooted. AFAIK, just as in WotLK, enchant on boots still provides an 8% boost, so PoJ > enchant
- 3/3 Rule of Law: provides a 15% crit chance increase to CS/HotR/WoG

My Pally is level 83 now. I have PVP'ing daily for the Random BG Honor and to see the changes in Cata.

So far I have noticed what has been the main concern for Prot (and Ret) Pallies in Cata:

1. our heals have not been scaling relative to the increase in the HP pools.

From my blog:
At 80 in WotLK, in my WotLK Prot PVP gear:
40.0k HP
4.3k WoG (10.75% of max HP)
8.5k FoL (21.25% of max HP)

At 83 in Cata, in my WotLK Prot PVP gear:
62.9k HP
4.2gk WoG (6.7% of max HP)
9.1k FoL (14.5% of max HP)

So my healing with the same gear is about 60% as effective as it used to be. Granted, the level differential kind of screws up the comparison.


Obviously this isn't 85 testing with 85 gear, which isn't available yet.

What is unclear to me at this point is how effective our healing will be at 85, when we and our opponents have a full set of baseline PVP gear with the new enchants/gems.

Given the rate of scaling of HP relative to healing output, I think it's safe to say that our healing will change to more of "mitigation healing" to stretch out fights as opposed to raw healing output.

My guess right now is that Resilience may become more important for Prot in Cata compared to 4.0 WotLK. I.e. our mechanics will change more to an "outlast/support tank" than a tank who can burst people down, as we were able to do in 3.x.

If you read up a few posts you'll see that I already reached the conclusion in WotLK 4.x that stacking Resil was effective against casters.

1.5 levels to go, expect to see some narrated PVP videos from me starting this week.

- Tau
90 Human Paladin
13675
I've done a little bit of PvP at 85 here, and although I don't have much resil gear yet (it should help with getting gang F'd by 6 warlocks in WSG...yes, that actually happened to me repeatedly in that BG and actually made me ragequit the BG), I think I can offer some opinions.

1. Burst. Is. GONE. You will not be bursting people down in any way, shape, or form. A high-power ShoR crit is still only going to crit for ~18k, and that's with some Vengeance and on targets with no resilience. Nobody seems to have much resil right now, at least not more than a few percent damage reduction. It's going to get worse, at least for the burst playstyle.

2. You live a really long time 1v1 or even 2v1. I'm in blues and greens and have 126k HP with Kings. The biggest crit I sustained was a stacked Arcane Blast for 24482. The mage may have had other buffs too. That's about 1/5 of my HP. Totally survivable. With resilience, it should be much better even. Crits are also very infrequent. Big hits were in the 6-9k range on me.

3. WoG doesn't heal for much. A 3-stack of it only heals me for ~12.4k. That's a little under 10% of my max HP. FoL isn't any better, and costs a big chunk of your mana bar. If you cast FoL 4 times, you are totally OOM.

4. Holy Radiance is neat. Heals for ~1k/sec for 10 seconds, on everyone around you (it heals for less the further away they are and the more people there are above 5). Costs about 3/4 of what Consecration costs. Worth casting sometimes.

5. Seal of Insight is worth using versus healers or self-healing casters. You can run them OOM, especially healers.

6. We function best as a control spec. My strategy is going to be stacking resilience. I'll be using hybrid gems in other slots. Socket bonuses are pretty good now compared to at 80. Hit/Resil and Stam/Resil are probably good gems, along with Str/Resil.

7. Crit is nearly worthless. It takes so much crit to get 1%, you might as well not even bother. Reforge away excess crit into mastery, dodge, or parry, because those really help against melee classes. Just because it's worthless against casters doesn't mean it's worthless overall. You can block arrows from hunters FYI. And Reckoning is up almost 100% of the time versus pet classes and melee. It's up to you though.

8. CS vs HotR: ALWAYS use CS unless there's a pet or multiple enemies nearby. CS hits WAY WAY harder than HotR at 85 with a proper 85 weapon. Mine is doing at least 60% more damage than HotR currently (and that's adding together the physical and holy portions of HotR).

9. CS crits hard! I've been seeing 9k crits with it, which is about 3/5 the power of Avenger's Shield. Glyph for CS (both reduced mana cost major and the 5% crit prime), and spec for it. The extra 15% crit via talents in the 2nd tier of the ret tree is worth it. This will give your CS a base ~21% crit before any crit rating you have is added.

10. Disrupt, disrupt, disrupt. The reason for this is the way healers work now. Healers want to spam their middle heal. It's cheap and efficient. They can heal indefinitely with it pretty much. What you want them to do is panic and force them to use expensive heals. You do this by harassing them with Avenger's Shield and HoJ when another DPS is working on people they're trying to heal. Doing this will quickly run healers OOM because they're having to use fast heals instead of the slower and more efficient middle heal. Also disrupting casters and snaring melee will allow your healers to spend more time healing with efficient heals and not inefficient ones.

11. Divine Guardian is amazing in battlegrounds! Use it near big fights that seem even, or to delay them capping a node (since your team will live longer).

12. Guardian of Ancient Kings is fun and awesome. Use Divine Protection early and often, but GoAK when you get focus fired.
Edited by Dekkar on 12/13/2010 12:29 PM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
Re-posting in a minute...quote functionality not working.
Edited by Taugrimm on 12/13/2010 2:42 PM PST
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2525
Hmmm. Looks like quote functionality only works for the first 2 quotes in a post. I ran into this issue in post #84 above as well.

Seems like a forum bug, hopefully Blizzard fixes it, because it makes posts with 3+ quotes difficult to read.

12/13/2010 12:26 PMPosted by Dekkar
I've done a little bit of PvP at 85 here, and although I don't have much resil gear yet (it should help with getting gang F'd by 6 warlocks in WSG...yes, that actually happened to me repeatedly in that BG and actually made me ragequit the BG), I think I can offer some opinions.


Thanks for weighing in with the insight and detailed thoughts. Your comments align with what I am expecting to see or have seen, but it's great to get some validation from other players.

12/13/2010 12:26 PMPosted by Dekkar
1. Burst. Is. GONE. You will not be bursting people down in any way, shape, or form


Agree, that's why I believe Prot will change to being an "outlast/support tank" - we'll wear opponents down. FWIW I still tend to lead or be near the top of KBs in BGs, mainly due to timing AS/SotR/HoW for finishers. Not sure if that will continue at 85 in full gear though.

That may or may not sound like fun. It depends how durable of a tank we are. I've played other games as a tank class in other PVP games (e.g. sword-n-board Swordmaster in WAR), and it can be fun being very durable with functional damage output.



[quote="14063106286"]3. WoG doesn't heal for much. A 3-stack of it only heals me for ~12.4k. That's a little under 10% of my max HP. FoL isn't any better, and costs a big chunk of your mana bar.[/quote]

Agree, we may simply have to stack WoG up to 3 as a "mitigation heal" to stretch out a fight.
WoG'ing at 1 HoPo will probably be a waste of a cooldown.

[quote="14063106286"]4. Holy Radiance is neat.[/quote]

[quote="14063106286"]11. Divine Guardian is amazing in battlegrounds! Use it near big fights that seem even, or to delay them capping a node (since your team will live longer).[/quote]

Exactly, I expect HR + DG will be helpful in mass fights at nodes and around flag carriers.

I see a lot of Prot PVP specs without DG, and I think DG is very underrated for BG PVP.



[quote="14063106286"]5. Seal of Insight is worth using versus healers or self-healing casters. You can run them OOM, especially healers.[/quote]

Isn't WoG healing enough against healers?

Against casters who can heal (Moonkin, Spriest, Elemsham), the issue with any Seal is keeping the caster in melee range to apply the seal's effect. On top of that, the SoI heal is proc-based and pretty light-weight. So I didn't find it that useful against caster DPS in 4.0 pre-Cata. I will have to test again at 85.



[quote="14063106286"]6. We function best as a control spec. My strategy is going to be stacking resilience. I'll be using hybrid gems in other slots. Socket bonuses are pretty good now compared to at 80. Hit/Resil and Stam/Resil are probably good gems, along with Str/Resil.[/quote]

My plan right now is to focus on stacking Str then Resil, or Resil then Str. TBD

I'll only use Hit "hybrid" gems to get to the Hit cap and trigger any desired socket bonuses.

I'll also probably use the Hit enchant for Boots insteas of Mastery, since Mastery is fairly useless for Prot in PVP and we don't need the movement speed hybrid enchants because of PoJ.




[quote="14063106286"]7. Crit is nearly worthless. It takes so much crit to get 1%, you might as well not even bother. Reforge away excess crit into mastery, dodge, or parry, because those really help against melee classes. Just because it's worthless against casters doesn't mean it's worthless overall. You can block arrows from hunters FYI. And Reckoning is up almost 100% of the time versus pet classes and melee. It's up to you though.[/quote]

Crit also (somewhat) benefits our healing.
I'll probably leave Crit on gear as-is, and reforge Mastery to Hit or Crit.

Of the 3 Prot talents I recommend skipping in my 85 spec (Toughness, Hallowed Ground, Reckoning), Reckoning is the one that I may decide to bring back, if our sustained DPS at 85 is underwhelming. Right now I have 3/3 Seals of the Pure but that may provide less benefit than 1/3 SotP and 2/2 Reckoning. TBD



[quote="14063106286"]8. CS vs HotR: ALWAYS use CS unless there's a pet or multiple enemies nearby[/quote]

Agree. This was the cast in 4.0 pre-Cata.

[quote="14063106286"]12. Guardian of Ancient Kings is fun and awesome. Use Divine Protection early and often, but GoAK when you get focus fired[/quote]

I'm looking forward to GoAK. We have DP, AD, GoAK for mitigation, and if things look really bad, either LoH or DS for emergency. GoAK is another tool that supports the "outlast/support tank" playstyle.
Edited by Taugrimm on 12/13/2010 2:55 PM PST
90 Dwarf Paladin
13705
Hey, since you've put up some great information, can you put a section on what auras to use in PvP? I've been doing Ret, except when mounted doing Crusader, but I'm not sure when I should use Devotion or Concentration. Thanks!
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