Choosing An Off-spec


I have been leveling this paladin recently and really love ret dps thus far. I plan to keep ret as one of my specs, and just would like to know a few things about tanking/healing so I can get an idea which I should have as my off-spec.

How hard are they to gear for? I understand tanking really requires more optimal gear (especially in the LFR setting where you don't have 5 others to fill in your gaps, like how healers have). I've never really filled either role to much extent, other than a brief stint of healing on my shaman during Wrath.

Is it a situation I should just get a starter set for both and try it out? Tanking definitely seems to have an edge in my mind as I've never done it and it seems challenging.
Well tanking will share similar stats to Ret so that's a plus.
Right now I just swap into a sword and board with my ret gear to tank dungeons and minor content if needed. I can pretty much clear LFR also with it if they need me to step up.

Holy will require a little more work to gear but with the recent changes to loot specs it isn't too bad compared to before.

I've been thinking about swapping to holy but having a tank spec can be really useful.

Personally I think tanking is more challenging just because you tend to be looked up to as the leader. Otherwise, mechanics can be challenging for healers and tanks alike.
Holy, ofc.
Haven't healed since WOTLK so I'll let someone else talk about that.

Both off-specs are viable and useful in raid settings and being competent in both makes you much more marketable to a raid team.

Protection - You will have an easier time gearing prot along with ret, especially now since both want haste/mastery as their best secondary stats (after hit and expertise caps). Right now optimal gear for ret is pretty much optimal gear for prot, about the only ret gear a prot wouldn't use is something with crit on it.

I would check out the tanking forums as well as the sticky on the paladin forums for additional information about rotations, cooldowns, talent specs, etc.

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