Paladin tank info for 5.2

90 Blood Elf Paladin
13385
Just as an FYI for theorycrafting-minded Prot pallies, Theck's updated his sim-work for the GC changes coming in 5.2 and his analysis is here: http://sacredduty.net/ results are interesting in that Haste is weaker and Avoidance is stronger. Arguments could be made for a wider range of gearing strategies with different strengths and weaknesses.

Additionally, EJ's prot paladin guide has been updated for 5.2 and its here: http://elitistjerks.com/f76/t132202-prot_5_2_its_time_begin_not_hating_avoidance/
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12 Pandaren Hunter
0
Thanks for the linking. I'll also be sure to put it in the Paladin guide when I get the chance.

(It's Bassm but too lazy to swap toons on phone).
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90 Draenei Paladin
5000
Thanks for this. I just started tanking MoP heroics and lets it has been ruff. Granted I am using AH 450 gear which is stats heavy on ADV but I i think I was tanking like I am use to, which has been a faceroll, and Heroics have been a real eye opener. I need to reforge and work on some rotation to get it right.
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85 Night Elf Warrior
0
Mostly my take away was that, depending on your skill, the basic gearing priorities haven't changed. If you knew why haste was good and how best to use it (and could do so very reliably), haste still probably has the strongest possible impact on your durability. For anyone else who understood what made haste good but didn't really apply it in actual combat, avoidance and/or mastery aren't far behind and are equally functional. The only thing that didn't change: hit and expertise still need to be capped.

The 12/12 Grand Crusader is kind of "middle-ground" I suppose. It took a little bite out of Haste's overwhelming superiority and gave just enough to avoidance that it can hold its own for prot paladins.

Granted, this didn't do anything to address the output disparity between full-on haste builds and avoidance, mastery, or a mix thereof.
Edited by Feandel on 3/5/2013 7:56 AM PST
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90 Human Paladin
13310
03/04/2013 07:53 PMPosted by Wrathblood
Additionally, EJ's prot paladin guide has been updated for 5.2


Just one nit to pick: The EF change (100% additional healing from the HoT when cast on yourself) in the "talents" section, but isn't included in the "changes from 5.1 to 5.2" section at the top. It strikes me as fairly relevant for Prot, especially with the 2p tier bonus making WoG/EF usage more attractive in general.

I'm also curious about some of Theck's reasoning on Control/Haste vs. Control/Mastery. He says the following:

All of that said, there’s an important caveat to consider here. These stat weights are stochastic, and calculated based on a model where the player blindly uses SotR as available. It does not take into account certain nuances that separate a talented player from a novice. For example, a talented player may delay SotR if they’re at full health even if they have 3 Holy Power. If I’m not in imminent danger, I will often sit on that Holy Power until I reach 5 and have a generator coming up in the next GCD, to ensure that I can cast another SotR immediately if it’s needed.

That sort of nuanced play has a peculiar effect, in that it’s essentially weighting the dice in your favor. You don’t need SotR coverage when you’re sitting at full health and have just avoided an attack, so you’re subtly shifting that coverage to periods of higher risk. That has a small but noticeable effect on mitigation stat weights, giving a slight edge to haste-based control strategies.


To me, he seems to be conflating two points that actually pull in opposite directions:

1) In situations where you are slightly delaying ShoR on a regular basis, I think you probably want control/mastery. The only reason you delay ShoR is because you feel like you can reasonably predict when you're actually in danger of dying. Sha of Fear is obviously the extreme example here, but really this should be somewhat intuitive: If you are able to reliably apply ShoR to the dangerous spikes of an encounter, then increasing the effectiveness of ShoR is probably going to be better than having more ShoRs.

2) Situations that favor haste are the ones where you *don't* find yourself delaying ShoR. When you can't reliably identify dangerous spikes, you probably prefer the shotgun approach: crap out a metric ton of ShoRs and hope that you catch as many dangerous spikes as possible. In situations where dangerous abilities really means "the boss landing two auto-attacks in a row" or when dangerous abilities are completely random, the "more coverage" approach is going to be better than the "focused coverage" approach.

Basically he seems to be saying that situations where you're able to shift ShoR coverage to correspond with spikes favors haste. I think the opposite is actually true - the "intangibles" certainly favor haste, but only to the extent that you're using ShoR "blindly". The more you find yourself able to delay ShoR because you're at full health/because you know the really big hit isn't coming for a few more seconds/because whatever, the better mastery looks.
Edited by Branar on 3/5/2013 8:19 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
6975
thanks
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Yeah, I actually found some of his results... odd myself.

When it comes to Haste, we obviously can time our SotR a little better and the like. But when it comes to Haste, it strikes me also as an easier setup than Mastery. Now granted - Mastery setup is still pretty nice for a failsafe. Even if you hiccup on your timing on SotR, your WoG heals are bigger thanks to your Mastery.

However, I would also think that the Haste build is also a little bit easier to control the SotR timing, which would actually make it... a bit more "noob friendly" shall we say? That isn't to say experts still won't continue to use Haste builds and that isn't to say that Mastery isn't a little less punishing to take either. I think, if anything, the numbers show the stat weights are a lot closer in this patch than when they were last patch, where Haste was, literally, king of mitigation. Now, it's arguable.

If the Theck analysis says anything it's this - whatever you and your healers are most comfortable with, continue building that way. Mastery build is still awesome and so is Haste. Dodge / Parry is just less "punishing", per se, than it was last patch.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13385
Mostly my take away was that, depending on your skill, the basic gearing priorities haven't changed. If you knew why haste was good and how best to use it (and could do so very reliably), haste still probably has the strongest possible impact on your durability. For anyone else who understood what made haste good but didn't really apply it in actual combat, avoidance and/or mastery aren't far behind and are equally functional. The only thing that didn't change: hit and expertise still need to be capped.

The 12/12 Grand Crusader is kind of "middle-ground" I suppose. It took a little bite out of Haste's overwhelming superiority and gave just enough to avoidance that it can hold its own for prot paladins.

Granted, this didn't do anything to address the output disparity between full-on haste builds and avoidance, mastery, or a mix thereof.


Well, Haste wasn't really "overwhelmingly" superior to the other stats. Mastery was better at both damage smoothing and reducing damage taken than Haste, and Avoidance was significantly better at damage reduction and only slightly worse than Haste against spikes (and these differences are all magnified after the 5.2 GC chance), its just that the DPS bonus from Haste was considered more useful and I suspect lots of prot paladins considered the Haste build more fun to play.

The DPS gap is really significant, though. I have't done any testing personally, and Theck says his DPS sim takes a very long time to run, but napkin math says that a Mastery - Avoidance build (the worst option for DPS) could do 40% less dps than a Control-Haste build. That's a big gap. Ranging from 15-20K lost dps on a fight like Feng all the way up to 200+K lost on a fight like Windlord.
Edited by Wrathblood on 3/5/2013 10:38 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13385
Additionally, EJ's prot paladin guide has been updated for 5.2


Just one nit to pick: The EF change (100% additional healing from the HoT when cast on yourself) in the "talents" section, but isn't included in the "changes from 5.1 to 5.2" section at the top. It strikes me as fairly relevant for Prot, especially with the 2p tier bonus making WoG/EF usage more attractive in general.

I'm also curious about some of Theck's reasoning on Control/Haste vs. Control/Mastery. He says the following:

Stuff Theck says.[/b]


To me, he seems to be conflating two points that actually pull in opposite directions:

1) In situations where you are slightly delaying ShoR on a regular basis, I think you probably want control/mastery. The only reason you delay ShoR is because you feel like you can reasonably predict when you're actually in danger of dying. Sha of Fear is obviously the extreme example here, but really this should be somewhat intuitive: If you are able to reliably apply ShoR to the dangerous spikes of an encounter, then increasing the effectiveness of ShoR is probably going to be better than having more ShoRs.

2) Situations that favor haste are the ones where you *don't* find yourself delaying ShoR. When you can't reliably identify dangerous spikes, you probably prefer the shotgun approach: crap out a metric ton of ShoRs and hope that you catch as many dangerous spikes as possible. In situations where dangerous abilities really means "the boss landing two auto-attacks in a row" or when dangerous abilities are completely random, the "more coverage" approach is going to be better than the "focused coverage" approach.

Basically he seems to be saying that situations where you're able to shift ShoR coverage to correspond with spikes favors haste. I think the opposite is actually true - the "intangibles" certainly favor haste, but only to the extent that you're using ShoR "blindly". The more you find yourself able to delay ShoR because you're at full health/because you know the really big hit isn't coming for a few more seconds/because whatever, the better mastery looks.


Thanks for the note on EF. I didn't include it among the significant changes because I figured SS is going to be everyone's default choice anyway. Your point on the 2 piece tier bonus is well taken and its possible you'll end up being right, but I think we're going to need to do some more analysis before recommending keeping the buff up at the expense of ShoR uptime.

Re: Haste vs Mastery, I think there's a couple points folks are overlooking. First, the biggest tanking value from stacking Mastery isn't the bigger reduction on ShoR or the bigger WoGs (though those are indeed nice), its the increased Block%. So even if ShoR isn't up, you still have a chance to mitigate an incoming attack by blocking it. This is really easy to use and maximize, since all you have to do is keep mobs in front of you and the blocks just happen.

Haste, on the other hand, gets almost all of its value from your Active Mitigation. Theck's sims assume optimal play. If you don't play optimally, every HoPo generator that you fail to squeeze into the fight is ~1 fewer second of ShoR uptime and that comes out of your survivability. A new tank who is operating at 80% efficiency is at risk of getting beaten severely with a Control-Haste build while losing a lot less survivability with a Control-Mastery build.

Even assuming you play with perfect resource generating efficiency , a Control-Haste build will still take ~10% more overall damage than a Control-Mastery build and, even worse, many more 60%, 70, and 80% spikes. It assumes you are "shotgunning" your ShoRs. The theory that Theck is following is that an expert player, though extremely careful timing of ShoR casts, might be able to pick up more more of the incoming damage and damage spikes and thus even the gap. Whether or not expert players can actually do this consistently is an unanswered question.
Edited by Wrathblood on 3/5/2013 10:40 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11985
03/05/2013 07:55 AMPosted by Feandel
If you knew why haste was good and how best to use it (and could do so very reliably), haste still probably has the strongest possible impact on your durability


Well said. I'm planning on continuing with haste next tier. As long as you know how to use it it still in many scenarios will be better, not only mitigation wise, but dps wise as well.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13385
Well, I wouldn't be quite that blase. A Control-Mastery build will likely take ~10% less damage than a Control-Haste build (in ilevel 522 gear with efficient play) and significantly fewer small and medium damage spikes.

However, Theck (and Mel and others) theorize that if you can use your ShoRs more effectively than shotgunning them without wasting any HoPo, then you might be better able to handle the spikes that come along. And one could certainly argue that ~10% more or less damage taken, as long as its "general" damage and not "spike" damage isn't a big enough difference to be relevant, plus your dps will certainly be higher. Just be aware that there's a survivability cost if you don't outperform in timing those ShoRs.
Edited by Wrathblood on 3/5/2013 10:46 AM PST
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90 Human Paladin
13310
03/05/2013 10:37 AMPosted by Wrathblood
its possible you'll end up being right, but I think we're going to need to do some more analysis before recommending keeping the buff up at the expense of ShoR uptime.


Absolutely agree, yeah. I'm not recommending maintaining the 2p buff, but I think basically doubling the effectiveness of the EF talent is at least worth noting. Using EF will be much more attractive in 5.2 than it was in 5.0/5.1 - whether it's attractive enough to beat SS remains to be seen.

03/05/2013 10:37 AMPosted by Wrathblood
It assumes you are "shotgunning" your ShoRs.


Right. My point is that the simulations for both control/haste and control/mastery assume you are shotgunning your ShoRs. If you do less shotgunning of ShoRs in favor of more careful timing, I suspect that control/mastery is going to gain more than control/haste, for two reasons:

1) Control/mastery simply has more room to actually "bank" Holy Power. Your GCDs are longer, so you can actually sit on a ShoR without wasting Holy Power for longer in a control/mastery gearset than you can in a control/haste gearset.

2) When you do successfully shift a ShoR to cover "important" damage, that ShoR is going to be more effective with mastery than it is with haste.

In fact, reading what I wrote above, I'm not at all sure that the "intangibles" favor haste. Theck's analysis is already stochastic and looking at occurrences of spike events - the "more ShoR uptime" component in the "more uptime vs. stronger ShoRs" doesn't actually seem intangible to me at all.

One question I do have: does Theck's analysis includes stuff like Seal of Insight and/or Sacred Shield? From his description it sounds like no, and that becomes an increasingly important variable as we get more and more haste, since those scale with haste but not with mastery. How much do you have to increase SS's absorption frequency before it starts to really skew things? 30% more SS absorption and SoI healing strikes me as being a pretty big deal, even once you take overhealing and SS refreshing itself before its consumed into account.
Edited by Branar on 3/5/2013 12:08 PM PST
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The problem with EF is that it has more of a potential to be "wasted" on self-use than SS. Refreshing the hot before it has expired is (or at least was) a net loss in healing. Ideally, yes, we wouldn't be self-casting EF without 5 stacks of BoG (which is plenty of time for the hot to tick full duration) but still, I think on a philosophical level it's better to absorb damage than heal it back slowly.

EF is probably a better choice if you find yourself having to help with raid healing, though, especially if you pair it with Holy Avenger.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13385
03/05/2013 11:07 AMPosted by Branar
its possible you'll end up being right, but I think we're going to need to do some more analysis before recommending keeping the buff up at the expense of ShoR uptime.


Absolutely agree, yeah. I'm not recommending maintaining the 2p buff, but I think basically doubling the effectiveness of the EF talent is at least worth noting. Using EF will be much more attractive in 5.2 than it was in 5.0/5.1 - whether it's attractive enough to beat SS remains to be seen.

It assumes you are "shotgunning" your ShoRs.


Right. My point is that the simulations for both control/haste and control/mastery assume you are shotgunning your ShoRs. If you stop shotgunning ShoRs in favor of more careful timing, I suspect that control/mastery is going to gain more than control/haste, for two reasons:

1) Control/mastery simply has more room to actually "bank" Holy Power. Your GCDs are longer, so you can actually sit on a ShoR without wasting Holy Power for longer in a control/mastery gearset than you can in a control/haste gearset.

2) When you do successfully shift a ShoR to cover "important" damage, that ShoR is going to be more effective with mastery than it is with haste.

In fact, reading what I wrote above, I'm not at all sure that any of the "intangibles" favor haste. Theck's analysis is already stochastic and looking at occurrences of spike events - the "more ShoR uptime" component in the "more uptime vs. stronger ShoRs" doesn't actually seem intangible to me at all.

One question I do have: does Theck's analysis includes stuff like Seal of Insight and/or Sacred Shield? From his description it sounds like no, and that becomes an increasingly important variable as we get more and more haste. How much do you have to increase SS's absorption frequency before it starts to really skew things? 30-35% more SS absorption and SoI healing is starting to look pretty significant.


I don't entirely disagree. But there are still some points to be made. First, while you have more time to control each individual ShoR with a Control-Mastery build, it isn't very much more time, probably in the neighborhood of a couple seconds, perhaps one boss swing. Whereas with a Control-Haste build you will have substantially more opportunities to time your ShoRs, in the neighborhood of 1/3 more of them. Also, looking at it the other way, with a Control-Haste build no matter how you slice it you're going to have less time between your ShoR's so if you really screw things up you can't do as much damage to yourself by creating a big hole in your mitigation.

Second, while having bigger ShoRs to throw at spikes is nice, it shouldn't really make that big a deal. If you can get spiked down even through a Control-Haste ShoR, you're going to get absolutely destroyed if its not up. ShoR is either sufficient for survival or its not. Making it better would mean you've got more health left after the spike ends which will help you survive overall, but its not as big a deal as it might seem (which was kind of the case with our t14 4 piece set bonus. It was nice, but not as nice as it initially seemed).

Mneme,

Excellent point. Should be up constantly, absorbing incoming damage every few seconds. Losing that is losing an important survival tool. If you take EF instead (for personal survival purposes) you'd presumably want to cast it on yourself a lot. Even if your healers adjust perfectly to the HoT, it still means you'll be WoGing yourself quite frequently to keep the HoT up and the WoG itself is at high risk of overhealing.

I recognize that its possible EF could surpass SS in value if it works out we want to keep the t15 2 piece bonus up 100% of the time. But I think that its unlikely, even if we're self-WoGing every 15 seconds. If the 2 piece isn't worth keeping up 100% of the time, I think there's zero chance of EF being our best option.
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90 Tauren Paladin
10510
go mastery if you plan on going into some of the heroic bosses due to the spike damage, + all the trinkets give amazing mastery aswell as dodge/parry CD's
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90 Human Paladin
13725
Seriously... I've tried both, and a combo of both.
Haste build = higher DPS, which makes us feel less inferior to other tanks.
Spike damage (you usually know is coming) = CD's.
Either build is nice.
As for me... I'm pretty sure I'll be going back to a full haste build.
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I did actually wonder if Theck took Seal of Insight into account. While Haste will still lose overall in damage taken, I wonder if the extra ticks of SoI heals would be significantly higher (probably not). Also, what about Windsong too? While it also affects the Mastery build, it certainly affects the Haste build as well.

There's a lot I've thought about, though, with his recent findings. Primarily - if sticking to 10% Haste for the extra Sacred Shield tick, then stacking the rest into Mastery, would be the most optimal way of doing it. Now granted, Theck did point out the mesh of stats isn't recommended since it's neither here nor there, but one can always theorize about it I guess.

I think, in the end, Mastery will pull ahead this tier. On top of the Grand Crusader changes, the 2 pc T15 set means throwing a WoG here and there isn't a sin either. And, more Mastery obviously means more blocking (granted now with diminishing returns). Though, if Thunder Kings has the enrage timers to consider, Haste probably still ecks an advantage for raid groups that are still struggling in the DPS department. Obviously you're playing both with the intention of mitigating damage and they work slightly different (Haste for higher SotR uptime / easy recovery IMO / DPS / extra SoI procs vs Mastery's extra Block / increased physical reduction for SotR / increased WoG heals / increased interaction with 2 pc bonus).

I'm kind of with Theck and them that it's still pretty close - almost so close it probably barely matters if you're already good at the spec. If you're still rusty it's a different story... but I always thought even with the increased amount of damage taken I was still easier to heal as Haste build anyway (and, to add, could recover from a spike anyway - so I sort of saw it moot to an extent). I would just think that, since you can't really shotgun SotR as much with Mastery build, Haste build was a little more user-friendly to an extent. While obviously you lose out on the extra block %, you also have a quick chance to recover if you accidentally shotgunned too early on a SotR and need to use a HoPo generator -> SotR again to "correct" yourself. I think I would like Mastery more if it was still on the same table as Dodge / Parry, but I also see why it's on the separate table to an extent.

Take my opinion as you will since I am sort of theorizing a bit, though, so *shrugs*. When I do update the guide on the forums, I plan on going a lot more into detail with the reasons of the stat weights and everything. It's what I should've done - but I was too hasteful myself (pun intended) to getting it up so it was updated.

On a lighter note - I think 10 vs 25 man and Normal vs Heroic Raids also has a lot to do with interaction with SotR as well. I do notice in 10 man Normals I can still be "kind of" lenient on the shotgunning on SotR (though I attempt to time it as much as I can with the big attacks). Also, 25 mans usually call for more Stamina stacking, so you lose out a little bit on Mastery and Haste, too - which means larger room for error, possibly.
Edited by Bassm on 3/5/2013 1:04 PM PST
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90 Human Paladin
13310
First, while you have more time to control each individual ShoR with a Control-Mastery build, it isn't very much more time, probably in the neighborhood of a couple seconds, perhaps one boss swing. Whereas with a Control-Haste build you will have substantially more opportunities to time your ShoRs, in the neighborhood of 1/3 more of them.


Not sure I agree with this. It sounds like you're trying to have it both ways here - on the one hand, with control/mastery you're saying that you don't get much more time, but on the other hand, with control/haste, you get "substantially more" opportunities.

Both the "not very much more time" and "substantially more opportunities" are talking about the same difference. Either the difference between the two gives control/haste has many more opportunities (and thus control/mastery has much more time to delay ShoR) or the difference is unimportant.

Second, while having bigger ShoRs to throw at spikes is nice, it shouldn't really make that big a deal. If you can get spiked down even through a Control-Haste ShoR, you're going to get absolutely destroyed if its not up. ShoR is either sufficient for survival or its not. Making it better would mean you've got more health left after the spike ends which will help you survive overall, but its not as big a deal as it might seem (which was kind of the case with our t14 4 piece set bonus. It was nice, but not as nice as it initially seemed).


I do agree with your assessment of the t14 4-piece bonus.

The only thing that I'd point out is that I think it's appropriate to consider that we are not necessarily talking about a situation in which you're covering the entire spike with ShoR. Theck gives the example in his analysis of waiting to use ShoR because you recognize that you're at 100% health, so there's no particular need for it. In the event that the very next swing is a full unblocked hit on a relatively hard-hitting boss, it really might matter whether your response is a ShoR that's powered by 15000 mastery, or one that's powered by 4500 mastery.

Of course haste gives you a better chance of being able to respond with a ShoR at all, as it were. But mastery gives you a much better chance that your ShoR lets you live. That's why I don't think it's necessarily clear that haste is the "high skill" choice, which is what it seems to be getting billing as. Both haste and mastery create more opportunities for higher-skill players to make a difference in their survival.

Ultimately though, to be honest, I think some of the discussions around which stat allows you to respond better to spikes are a bit beside the point. It's not at all clear to me that ShoR is meant - or necessary - as a tool for responding to unexpected spikes. Paladins have a lot of personal cooldowns these days, enough that raid bosses mostly don't require using all of them to respond to some encounter-specific mechanic. And a 2HP Word of Glory with a few Bastion stacks is a pretty effective oh-!@#$ button too. (Note: responding italicized because I think which stats actually prevent spikes in the first place remains an important concern.)

03/05/2013 12:54 PMPosted by Bassm
I wonder if the extra ticks of SoI heals would be significantly higher (probably not).


Not sure what you mean by significantly higher, but as best as I can tell it should just be a direct relationship with your haste. Going from 0% haste to 25% haste = 25% more healing via SoI. (Not quite as true for SS, because all paladins get 10% spell haste baseline from SoI and I believe the haste from gear is additive on to that, but it's similar).

SoI is 20% of my total healing received with regularity on most fights. SS is 10-12% of my healing received, and to be honest I'm absolutely awful about maintaining it, so that's probably lowballing it considerably. Shaving 20% off those numbers (I have 25% haste rating) is a pretty big deal, if you ask me.

03/05/2013 12:54 PMPosted by Bassm
Primarily - if sticking to 10% Haste for the extra Sacred Shield tick, then stacking the rest into Mastery, would be the most optimal way of doing it.


Almost assuredly not. How often do you actually let Sacred Shield expire? If you're completely fail at it like me, maybe it matters. Otherwise, the haste breakpoints for Sacred Shield are relatively unimportant because most of the time you'll be refreshing it early (whenever you have a free GCD) rather than letting it expire/refreshing just before the final tick.
Edited by Branar on 3/5/2013 1:47 PM PST
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