Venoma's Prot Pally PVP Guide [5.3]

90 Human Paladin
5335
It’s that time again. After a long hiatus, Venoma’s back to bring all you tired Rets an opportunity to have some fun playing what I feel is a much more exciting, dynamic & compelling spec.

First off – hold the flames. Some credentials: I have reached 2200 on my Enhancement Shaman and Feral Druid. Contrary to popular belief, I have reached ~1900 as Prot during all the seasons of Cata (dat 20sec WoG cd season…). While I’m no Glad I believe I’m experienced enough to share my knowledge and experience of Prot with the community.

Disclaimer: Prot PVP has issues. You will NOT be reaching 2200 or above. You may get mocked by many for trying. Do NOT attempt to FC in RBGs.

The good news: I believe 1900 is possible by experienced players & teammates, and 1600 is reachable by most. Melting faces in normal BGs and duels is almost guaranteed.
This is my first season back and I was sitting at around ~1750 with as Prot/DK but am now trying a different comp. I definitely believe higher ratings are possible – it’s more that I’m still getting used to all the class changes in the non-forgiving arena setting.

First let's clear up some misconceptions:
1. "I only tickle healers and can't put out any serious damage or burst"
Wrong. With the offensive spec you can put out serious damage and with the right macros and timing you can dish out some serious burst.
2. "Prot has !@#$ survivability"
Wrong. Prot has very decent defensive cooldowns and many of them. It's healing capabilities are average - you will not be offhealing as much as a Ret, but you can still offer plenty of support.

Patch 5.3 brought some excellent changes to Paladins. They were mostly intended to boost Ret's defense but have also made excellent additions to the Prot arsenal.

- Devotion Aura now clears all silence effects when used.
- Divine Protection is now usable while stunned.
- Tanks now get a 40% bonus to healing from PVP Power.
- Shield of the Righteous now reduces physical damage taken by 25%, down from 30%.

The last one is a bit of a bummer but hey, it can't all be good news ;)

So why Prot?
1. Excellent Holy Power buildup
2. No Inquisition (good and bad)
3. Silence & Interrupt on ~10sec (effectively, with refreshes) cooldown
4. Tons of defensive CDs
5. Excellent sustained damage
6. Consecration (take that rogues!)
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There are two styles of play: A) [Harsh Words]/Sacred Shield and B) Shield of the Righteous/Eternal Flame.

Style A) If you want balls to the wall offense - you’ll be using [Glyph of Harsh Words] which essentially turns Prot into a faux-range class; most of your spells are usable on enemies in the 30 to 40 yard range. The other advantage is that [Harsh Words] cannot be dodged/blocked/parried as well as doing much more dmg than SotR.

This play style is best used against casters or magic dmg melee classes.

Style B) If you want a more balanced approach - you'll be using Shield of the Righteous as your HP dump and Eternal Flame for heals. Using SotR means you get better use out of your Mastery, giving you much more survivability against melee dmg - both through the physical dmg reduction of SotR and the extra healing through Bastion of Glory.

The other advantage of this style is that you can offheal much better - throwing out an Eternal Flame on a teammate is much easier & safer than choosing between Sacred Shielding yourself or someone else.

This play style is best used against melee dmg teams or in a comp based more around surviving & outlasting your opponents rather than bursting them down.
Edited by Venoma on 6/10/2013 2:25 PM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
5335
-Mechanics-
I’m not gonna go into too much detail but to say that you should be using Crusader Strike instead of Hammer of the Righteous, except to put the debuff on melee classes - this is not only because CS does way more dmg but also because of the PVP 2-set bonus which gives 1000 PVP Power every time CS is used. For the maximum damage you’ll be wanting to use [Glyph of Harsh Words] which works quite well for Prot because WoG is off the GCD. So you can put out serious pressure & consistent damage – all at the 30 to 40 yard range.

Consecration, use it. It does decent damage, it gets rogues & others out of stealth and is a vanilla spell that just has a special place in my heart.

As far as supporting teammates, remember that you can still double freedom/sacrifice/protection as well as throw out a Sacred Shield or Eternal Flame & Prism here and there.

-Talents & Glyphs-
This is the sustained damage spec which I run most of the time. If you feel that you need more burst feel free to swap out Divine Purpose and Holy Prism for Holy Avenger and Execution Sentence respectively (take care for dispel capabilities of the enemy with the latter).
1. Long Arm of the Law
2. Fist of Justice
3. Sacred Shield for A) and Eternal Flame for B)
4. Clemency
5. Divine Purpose
6. Holy Prism

Major Glyphs for style A):
[Glyph of Focused Shield]
[Glyph of Dazing Shield]
[Glyph of Harsh Words]
Minor Glyphs:
[Glyph of Focused Wrath]

For maximum damage you can also use Burden of Guilt for the #2 talent and replace [Glyph of Dazing Shield] with [Glyph of Word of Glory].

Major Glyphs for style B):
[Glyph of Focused Shield]
[Glyph of Dazing Shield]
[Glyph of Word of Glory]
Minor Glyphs:
[Glyph of Focused Wrath]

[Glyph of Word of Glory] - Use that 9% dmg buff as a mini-Inquisition before your burst; I recommend setting up a Power Aura to track this at all times.

I don't like the Selfless Healer talent as Prot as it takes up more GCDs – you’ve already got plenty of buttons to hit as Prot, it’s not like Ret where there’s a lot of downtime. Also, you don't get the 100% buff to Flash of Light that Ret does.

Remember to track your trinket and other strength buffs and refresh Sacred Shield accordingly – a fully buffed Sacred Shield will be absorbing a lot of dmg.

The Minor [Glyph of Focused Wrath] is excellent - it actually deals decent damage, and can be a great extra finisher if you use the Major [Glyph of Final Wrath].

Now, in MoP you can change the glyphs around before arena which gives us a lot of versatility. Facing a melee cleave? Swap out the [Glyph of Harsh Words] with [Glyph of Word of Glory] and use Shield of the Righteous instead. Facing a burst team? Go more defensive with Sanctified Wrath & [Glyph of Avenging Wrath]. You have a lot of options as Prot, use them.

If by chance you need to FC an RBG swap out to all defensive glyphs, make sure to Hand of Protect your healers and pray you don’t get smokebombed ;) In 5.3 no tanks are really preferred to FC so I doubt you will be caught in this situation ;)
Edited by Venoma on 6/9/2013 7:07 PM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
5335
-Gear & Stats-
Stat priority is:
Hit & Expertise to 3%>Strength>Haste>PvP Power>Crit>Mastery
While in 5.3 we do get a benefit to healing from PVP Power, Strength is still miles ahead. The nerf to PVP Power & Resilience gems means that you will never want to gem for these; the only exception is the +200 Resilience Chest enchant.

Enchants:
* Weapon – [Dancing Steel]
* Shield – [Titanium Plating] is a must have. It gives 50% disarm duration reduction meaning you don’t need Weapon Chain on Main hand and can get an offensive enchant.

Red gems: +160 Strength
Yellow gems: +80 Strength +160 Haste
Blue gems: +80 Strength +80 PVP Power

-Gear & Professions-
Prot really benefits from min-maxing. I highly recommend having both professions maxed out and getting all the good gems & enchants. I would also recommend getting the Tyrannical main hand & shield asap. I run with Engineering & Tailoring for the extra 1920 on-use Strength on Gloves and 4000 Attack Power proc cloak enchant.

The other advantages of these two professions are clear in normal BGs, duels & WPVP. Tier #1 talent Long Arm of the Law stacks with Nitro Boosts giving you a ludicrous get out of jail free card. Combine it with some Frostweave Nets from Tailoring (Roots targets for 3sec) and you've suddenly got much more control over how you engage or disengage from the battle.

All PvP gear, as human with the Proc & On-use STR trinkets. If I wasn’t human I’d recommend the On-use one and a regular cc-breaker trinket.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
This is very easy to overlook: DO NOT GET THE 1-handed PVP SWORDS! They have lower top-end damage. Get the Axe or Mace (mace if you’re Human or Dwarf).
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


This is very easy to overlook as the Sword actually has the same speed as the Axe & Mace but lower top end damage.

-Seals-

So, which Seal should you be using? Obviously for maximum single target dmg you will want to use Seal of Truth, but it really isn't that simple. I usually start out with Truth and then swap to Insight as soon as I feel the need to top up my health - because you will have high uptime on the target do not underestimate Insight's healing from melee attacks. Once you feel like you're safe again swap back to Truth.

The other use for Truth is to DoT up rogues and other stealthies - remember that Judging while in Truth will put a single DoT on the target, use it to stop re-stealthing.

Seal of Righteousness is great when using an AoE spec (which I haven't really discussed in this guide - but basically consists of removing all the Glyphs that turn AoE spells into single target ones).

Do not be afraid of Seal dancing - it's a skill that was mandatory back in the day and is somewhat of a lost art nowadays.
Edited by Venoma on 6/10/2013 12:21 AM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
5335
-Macros-
#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.
I strongly recommend other focus macros for stuns, freedoms, heals etc.

Depending on spec you’ll want to have a burst macro. If you’re using [Glyph of Word of Glory] remember that you can use that 9% dmg buff as a mini-Inquisition. And as always, try to make sure that any Diminishing Returns have passed before popping your burst – a full 6 second stun, followed by a potential 3 Avenger’s Shields can be deadly (make sure NOT to overlap your CCs - wait for the Stun to be nearly done then follow it up with a Silence).

New burst macro (assuming you have [Glyph of Word of Glory], Holy Avenger and Execution Sentence):
1. Make sure to have 3 Holy Power.
#showtooltip Avenging Wrath
/use 13
/use [glove name]
/cast Holy Avenger
/cast Avenging Wrath
/cast [target=YOURNAMEHERE] Word of Glory
/cast Execution Sentence

This will give you the 9% dmg buff right before you pop all your burst as a sort of mini-Inquisition.

-Addons-
Power Auras. I cannot overstate the significance of this addon. You can use it to track Sacred Shield duration, Glyph of Word of Glory and a whole lot more. I strongly suggest getting very comfortable with this addon.
Nug Combo Bar for the Holy Power tracking.
Arena addons of your choosing.

-Conclusion-
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the guide. I hope I’ve dispelled some of the misconceptions about the spec and inspired those who were considering Prot for PVP to try it. While I definitely agree that it is lacking in certain areas, I believe it has strengths that Ret does not and is a decent alternative for those looking for something different in a casual PvP setting.

Edit: Original Cata guide can be found here:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3082029869
Edited by Venoma on 4/6/2013 4:11 PM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
5335
Reserved
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
11915
There's more to a guide than just a checklist for how to gear and spec. How about some actual play instructions, maybe a few videos?
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90 Human Paladin
5335
There's more to a guide than just a checklist for how to gear and spec. How about some actual play instructions, maybe a few videos?


PvP gameplay is hard to write instructions for - it's very reactionary. I have considered making a video though.

Edit: In the process of adding class specific tips, if that's what you meant.
Edited by Venoma on 4/5/2013 4:56 PM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
5335
Rename the thread "How to be useless in pvp" and then for the whole guide put:

"Go Prot."


It took 30 minutes since submission, I think we have a new record!
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1 Gnome Rogue
0
Thanks for the new guide. :) I haven't been PVPing as prot since Cata (when we were, for a time, virtually unkillable). Will give it another go!
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90 Dwarf Paladin
8970
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
This is very easy to overlook: DO NOT GET THE 1-handed PVP SWORDS! They have lower top-end damage. Get the Axe or Mace (mace if you’re Human).
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


also, i too overlooked this, if your a dwarf, be sure to get the mace, racial increases our expertese by 1% for using a mace!
Edited by Henrieta on 4/6/2013 2:22 PM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
5335
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
This is very easy to overlook: DO NOT GET THE 1-handed PVP SWORDS! They have lower top-end damage. Get the Axe or Mace (mace if you’re Human).
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

also, i too overlooked this, if your a dwarf, be sure to get the mace, racial increases our expertese by 1% for using a mace!


Yeah I really don't understand why the swords are still like that. But yes, make sure to always watch out for Racial bonuses and buy accordingly.
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90 Human Paladin
5335
I put in a new burst macro in the relevant section that works great.
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90 Dwarf Paladin
8970
if i am correct, i heard my guild leader, who is a warrior, say that swords swing faster for warriors so they generate more rage faster that way.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
19235
if i am correct, i heard my guild leader, who is a warrior, say that swords swing faster for warriors so they generate more rage faster that way.


People tell you the most seriously bizarre stuff.

Weapons swing by their weapon speed modified by haste... period. Long ago (years), it is true that it was more frequent to find fast swords (1.6-1.8 swing speeds, basically intended as combat rogue offhand weapons), and prot warriors would prefer those because weapon damage wasn't really relevant back then and the faster swing did mean fast, smoother rage generation compared to slower weapons.. but swords don't swing faster just because they're swords. In Skyrim they do.

Yeah I really don't understand why the swords are still like that. But yes, make sure to always watch out for Racial bonuses and buy accordingly.


The pvp swords starting from season 1 have always had a higher bottom end and lower top end compared to the axes and maces. It makes no real difference. The maces and axes will have slightly more extreme peaks in damage compared to the swords, both high and low peaks
Edited by Cayse on 4/6/2013 6:47 PM PDT
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90 Tauren Paladin
10830
I'm open to trying prot again....I'm getting tired of ret and I don't want to heal...
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90 Human Paladin
5335
I'm open to trying prot again....I'm getting tired of ret and I don't want to heal...


I encourage you to give it a go. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll be glad to help.
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90 Tauren Paladin
10830
Well I have a few, you don't have burden of guilt, how do you keep up with ppl since prot doesn't get seal of justice. It the slow shield glyph enough? And how do you do any kind of damage? It's hard enough to kill as ret.... Prot damage is even lower. How do you make anything more than an annoyance of yourself in say BGs ?
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90 Human Paladin
5335
Well I have a few, you don't have burden of guilt, how do you keep up with ppl since prot doesn't get seal of justice. It the slow shield glyph enough? And how do you do any kind of damage? It's hard enough to kill as ret.... Prot damage is even lower. How do you make anything more than an annoyance of yourself in say BGs ?


I find that the Glyph of Dazing Shield is enough - however, you can take Burden of Guilt and take another dmg Glyph like Word of Glory or Final Wrath.

As for the damage, it really is anything but low. With the Harsh Words & Divine Purpose spec, combined with the decent HP buildup of Prot, you should be pumping out very consistent damage. Remember that Word of Glory is OFFthe GCD. That means that you are constantly hitting something else whenever you unload a Word of Glory on the enemy. [I believe the same is true for Shield of the Righteous]

The killing power actually comes from Avenger's Shield and not just your damage - Mages aren't so scary when you can interrupt & silence Frostbolts every ~10sec (in actuality, you're likely to get strings of Avenger's Shield procs so you can sometimes have a target silenced until Diminishing Returns).

I checked your Armory and you're not using the recommended spec or glyphs. Try out my preferred spec and let me know how you go.
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90 Tauren Paladin
10830
Oh no I'm not in prot yet, I'm getting the honor for a shield and 1 hand weap... Don't get me wrong I actually used to use prot before vigilance was removed in PvP... I also have an alt low lvl paladin that I play prot in BGs... And yes at low levels harsh words hits hard... I just didn't know if prot was good enough at 90... The reason I'd take burden for PvP prot is that you don't have seal of justice and prot also can't take slows/roots off itself...but Mabey daze shield glyph is enough...sounds fun to try so I will :) pretty good guide.
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