Prot Paladins vs Magic Damage = /cancelaura

Battle for Azeroth Alpha General Discussion
A known change going into BFA is that SOTR will increase your armor as a % of your Strength stat. This orients SOTR to be strong against physical damage while losing any value vs. Magic attacks. This change is fine. I'm ok with this change.

A lesser known change is how armor interacts with Block. Currently on alpha, the amount of damage you block reduces as you get more armor. For example, on my 117 Paladin in Alpha quest gear, I have 33% baseline block DR. When I hit SOTR, it drops to 14% DR.

Now if you consider Holy Shield, a Protection Paladin talent, I gain the ability to roll a block on magic attacks. This has been a tool since WOD for Paladins to counter consistent magic bosses like Krosus. With the changes to SOTR, Holy Shield will be the only way to reduce magic damage for Protection Paladins in BFA.

However, when you put both changes together, pressing SOTR reduces the amount of magic damage I could reduce via Holy Shield. In a fight like Krosus, it would be better to spec Seraphim and sit on SOTR charges (or use macros to cancel the aura) than spend them and take more damage.

This is problematic and counter-intuitive. Pressing an active mitigation button shouldn't cause me to take more damage than I would have if I didn't press that button. No other tank has to deal with an interaction like this. It will lead to /cancelaura macros where am I pressing SOTR for damage then canceling it right away to maximize the damage reduction from Holy Shield. Imagine having to do Krosus but having to /cancelaura SOTR constantly as to not take more damage than we should be and maximizing damage/threat.

There will be points during Mythic bosses where, I'll be thinking, "Here comes the magic hit, let me click off my SOTR so I can increase my damage reduction vs Magic." Tanking shouldn't work that way.

/cancelaura macros for Active Mitigation Buffs against spell damage is not good gameplay and changes should made to avoid this situation.
04/11/2018 12:46 PMPosted by Reese
A known change going into BFA is that SOTR will increase your armor as a % of your Strength stat. This orients SOTR to be strong against physical damage while losing any value vs. Magic attacks. This change is fine. I'm ok with this change.

A lesser known change is how armor interacts with Block. Currently on alpha, the amount of damage you block reduces as you get more armor. For example, on my 117 Paladin in Alpha quest gear, I have 33% baseline block DR. When I hit SOTR, it drops to 14% DR.

Now if you consider Holy Shield, a Protection Paladin talent, I gain the ability to roll a block on magic attacks. This has been a tool since WOD for Paladins to counter consistent magic bosses like Krosus. With the changes to SOTR, Holy Shield will be the only way to reduce magic damage for Protection Paladins in BFA.

However, when you put both changes together, pressing SOTR reduces the amount of magic damage I could reduce via Holy Shield. In a fight like Krosus, it would be better to spec Seraphim and sit on SOTR charges (or use macros to cancel the aura) than spend them and take more damage.

This is problematic and counter-intuitive. Pressing an active mitigation button shouldn't cause me to take more damage than I would have if I didn't press that button. No other tank has to deal with an interaction like this. It will lead to /cancelaura macros where am I pressing SOTR for damage then canceling it right away to maximize the damage reduction from Holy Shield. Imagine having to do Krosus but having to /cancelaura SOTR constantly as to not take more damage than we should be and maximizing damage/threat.

There will be points during Mythic bosses where, I'll be thinking, "Here comes the magic hit, let me click off my SOTR so I can increase my damage reduction vs Magic." Tanking shouldn't work that way.

/cancelaura macros for Active Mitigation Buffs against spell damage is not good gameplay and changes should made to avoid this situation.


Great catch! i thought it was off, but im not a theory dude so i hoped somebody else would catch it haha.
Currently on alpha, the amount of damage you block reduces as you get more armor. For example, on my 117 Paladin in Alpha quest gear, I have 33% baseline block DR. When I hit SOTR, it drops to 14% DR.


This is actually a huge issue. Our Block DR shouldn't work like this.
Holy Shield doesn't actually work like this on the alpha. Not that you're wrong for asking--it's pretty confusing since it hasn't been updated thoroughly for the new block system. At the moment, it still does what it does on live and reduces a magic attack by 40%.

It might be more consistent in 8.0 if it blocked an amount based on the block value of your shield. But in any case, the magic portion of the talent shouldn't be affected by your armor in any way.
I'm also actually just wondering what the design intent is behind tanks taking magic damage in general. Basically everything's moved to armor, meaning some classes have little-to-no magic damage reduction. Does this just mean no boss will ever have magic-based melee attacks again? Or hell, any significant incoming magic damage to a tank at all. In the current Mythic model where tanks get one-shot without mitigation, there seems to be a serious gap in the BfA model.
04/11/2018 02:35 PMPosted by Sigma
Holy Shield doesn't actually work like this on the alpha. Not that you're wrong for asking--it's pretty confusing since it hasn't been updated thoroughly for the new block system. At the moment, it still does what it does on live and reduces a magic attack by 40%.

It might be more consistent in 8.0 if it blocked an amount based on the block value of your shield. But in any case, the magic portion of the talent shouldn't be affected by your armor in any way.


Thank you for the response. :)

It was hard to prove out without logs since there aren't many yet. I just started logging today to capture data. A lot of the OP was just me theorizing what would happen on certain boss types with the current Paladin toolkit on Alpha.

You mention a 'new block system'. Can you talk a bit more about that and the math behind it? Is the two roll system gone? Whats the ratio for armor gain and block damage reduction loss? Will Block Value on BFA shields offset the reduction in anyway? Will Block Value appear on any other item types such as trinkets, etc. or is it limited to Shields?

Obviously we have a ton of questions now that you've sort of confirmed things we've seen in tooltips.
04/11/2018 03:10 PMPosted by Nahela
I'm also actually just wondering what the design intent is behind tanks taking magic damage in general. Basically everything's moved to armor, meaning some classes have little-to-no magic damage reduction. Does this just mean no boss will ever have magic-based melee attacks again? Or hell, any significant incoming magic damage to a tank at all. In the current Mythic model where tanks get one-shot without mitigation, there seems to be a serious gap in the BfA model.


Encounters are based around what tanks are capable of. If tanks as a whole have less magic mitigation than they do now, bosses will do less magic damage to tanks. Problems only occur when there are big gaps in how certain tanks can handle certain damage types compared to other tanks and then you have an encounter that heavily focuses on that type of damage.
04/11/2018 12:46 PMPosted by Reese
However, when you put both changes together, pressing SOTR reduces the amount of magic damage I could reduce via Holy Shield.


Or you can just use your 15 second cool-down Lay on Hands and call it good. : /
A few things about tank mitigation that came up in this discussion:

Magic mitigation, outside of major cooldowns like Shield Wall, is generally much lower this expansion. This is intended: the distinction between physical and magical damage is less "these are two parallel things that sometimes require different buttons" and more "this damage is different because it pierces many of your defenses." While tanks can still have some variance in the anti-magic tools, those tools are fewer than in the past and cap out at smaller amounts of mitigation.

Related to this, active mitigation is also making use of armor as a mechanic more often. There are a few reasons for this:
--It makes primary stat more important on tanks. So far in alpha, every tank except Brewmaster has an active or passive effect that turns primary stat into armor. This brings more consistency to the value of ilvl upgrades and other effects that increase primary stat. (TBD exactly how to handle this on Brewmaster)
--It allows us to make use of the fact that more difficult enemies (for example, endgame content later in the expansion) can demand more armor to reach a par level of mitigation (for theorycraft types--the "armor constant" can increase). This again allows for gear progression while keeping armor-related effects balanced at different tiers of content.

Block works similarly to armor. Its effectiveness now increases as you equip higher-ilvl shields with higher block value. Its effectiveness (as a %) decreases as you fight enemies that are meant for stronger gear. In particular, this makes a shield a more significant upgrade than it used to be, for the specs that use them.

In both of the above cases (armor and block), the plan is for the % mitigation they provide to remain roughly constant over the expansion, when in par gear for the content you are doing. Your % will be higher anytime your gear is ahead of the curve, and lower if your gear is behind.
04/11/2018 07:48 PMPosted by Sigma
(for theorycraft types--the "armor constant" can increase)


It's probably too early for the theorycrafting thread but are you referring to the "K" value? If so, are you indicating that it will be a function after the initial value for level 123 boss mobs; or is it a function of the 120's K value? Right now 120 through 123 K value is set to 7765.
Thanks again for the response! :)

04/11/2018 07:48 PMPosted by Sigma
Magic mitigation, outside of major cooldowns like Shield Wall, is generally much lower this expansion. This is intended: the distinction between physical and magical damage is less "these are two parallel things that sometimes require different buttons" and more "this damage is different because it pierces many of your defenses." While tanks can still have some variance in the anti-magic tools, those tools are fewer than in the past and cap out at smaller amounts of mitigation.


As a follow-up, do you have a plan to create a better balance in the types of encounters in a single raid tier? A raid like Nighthold had a heavy amount of magic damage while ToS had a heavy amount of physical damage. Then you pushed the magic damage closer to Nighthold levels in ABT. I think it might be better if you were able to control those tier to tier swings in damage types, it would make it easier to balance tanks.

04/11/2018 07:48 PMPosted by Sigma
Related to this, active mitigation is also making use of armor as a mechanic more often. There are a few reasons for this:
--It makes primary stat more important on tanks. So far in alpha, every tank except Brewmaster has an active or passive effect that turns primary stat into armor. This brings more consistency to the value of ilvl upgrades and other effects that increase primary stat. (TBD exactly how to handle this on Brewmaster)
--It allows us to make use of the fact that more difficult enemies (for example, endgame content later in the expansion) can demand more armor to reach a par level of mitigation (for theorycraft types--the "armor constant" can increase). This again allows for gear progression while keeping armor-related effects balanced at different tiers of content.


This makes sense to me.

04/11/2018 07:48 PMPosted by Sigma
Block works similarly to armor. Its effectiveness now increases as you equip higher-ilvl shields with higher block value. Its effectiveness (as a %) decreases as you fight enemies that are meant for stronger gear. In particular, this makes a shield a more significant upgrade than it used to be, for the specs that use them.


Does the game assume I have higher ilvl gear because the armor value gain from Shield of the Righteous and lower my Block DR% accordingly? Stats like Armor and Strength increase as you acquire and equip better gear so it makes sense to use those as a judge of gear quality. But speaking from a personal perspective, it seems that it should be based directly on equipped item level itself especially for Paladins who have an on-demand Armor increase and Block. Would you consider flagging Shield of the Righteous so it doesn't do this? It just feels icky for a core spec ability to undercut the effectiveness of a class mechanic.

Also is Block DR% subject to boss penalties that we have associated with Armor/Dodge/Parry/Block chance in currently live gameplay?

04/11/2018 07:48 PMPosted by Sigma
In both of the above cases (armor and block), the plan is for the % mitigation they provide to remain roughly constant over the expansion, when in par gear for the content you are doing. Your % will be higher anytime your gear is ahead of the curve, and lower if your gear is behind.


Based on everything you've posted here and what's in alpha, this makes sense to me.
I don't believe under any circumstance should using an ability that is supposed to reduce your damage taken by buffing your character, but can also cause the passive damage reduction to go DOWN as a result is a good thing. It just shouldn't work that way, ever. It may still be "more damage reduced" because you used that button verses if you didn't, but it still shouldn't work that way.

It should just have higher diminishing returns on that damage reduction area, if you increase your armor, your damage reduction should always go up, period.

If you're more concerned about how it might play out later in the expansion, you can always adjust these values on the diminishing returns, or the armor the player is getting.
While a lot of these changes make sense, I have to ask if we are moving towards a more passive mitigation model for tanks after it seems like you guys weren't thrilled with the AM style of WoD and Legion. Legion prot warrior is probably the most fun I've had on it in a while, and while I realize the self healing is a bit out of control, the spec feels great. With the nerfs to shield block, and IP being removed (and if this is the direction then probably not replaced either), will we see tanks less reliant AM? I also understand how you want tanks to be healed more, so by using what AM tanks do have for big hits I can kind of see this direction.
I dont know whats wrong with your Prot Pally, But on the Alpha i have no problem what so ever in the dungeons. In fact if it went live today, I am pretty sure the build i use will out heal the healer in the dungeon.
04/11/2018 07:48 PMPosted by Sigma
While tanks can still have some variance in the anti-magic tools, those tools are fewer than in the past and cap out at smaller amounts of mitigation.


I just made a death knight and a warrior on the PTR. I really have to contest the idea that this is "some" variance. I picked talents that were as specifically geared towards magic mitigation as I could for both characters, and the Death Knight came out way ahead. (I'm not super experienced with Death Knights so if there was a build that was even better for magic damage I didn't see it.)

The only variable I haven't compared are Azerite traits. Since we only have one piece available on alpha, I can't really compare any type of "complete package" of Azerite traits. From what I've seen they don't seem strong enough to make much of a difference either way, but it is possible that warriors could have a strong suite of anti-magic traits in the future.

For magic mitigation, soaking, and healing, Warriors have
1) About 10% more health due to Indomitable. (This is probably the biggest/only advantage!)
2) Spell Reflect- 15% for 5 sec on 25 sec CD. Can also reflect some spells, but this is pretty rare in raiding scenarios.
3) Last Stand- 30% max/current health for 15 sec on 3 min CD.
4) Shield Wall- 40% for 8 sec on 4 min CD.
5) Demo Shout- 20% for 8 sec on a 45 sec CD. (Does not work on enemies out of range at time of cast)
6) Anger Management- Reduces CD of above talents by varying amounts (Probably average around a third, I'd say)
7) Impending Victory- 15% heal on 30 sec CD.

They have no ability to use rage to reduce magic damage currently, due to the removal of Ignore Pain, therefore any talents or abilities which increase rage generation is useless except for interactions with Anger Management. Ideally, something is coming to replace it, but we haven't gotten any information about that so I can't really say.

Death Knights, on the other hand, have
1) Massive self healing, through A) Death Strike, B) Blood Worms, and C) Blood Plague.
2) Icebound Fortitude- 30% for 8 sec on 3 min CD. (Duration extended by Heart of Ice)
3) Anti-Magic Shell- Magic absorption for about a third of max health, which also increases max health thanks to Anti-Magic Barrier by 25% for 10 sec on 1 min CD.
4) Vampiric Blood- 30% max health and healing received for 10 sec on 1.5 min CD, further reduced by Red Thirst. (I tried testing this on a target dummy and the talent appears to be broken at the moment so I don't know how much the reduction is on average, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's as high as 50% if not using Marrowrend [i.e. against a pure magic boss])
5) Rune Tap- 40% for 3 sec on 25 sec recharge, 2 charges.
6) Purgatory- Automatic death avoidance that essentially acts as infinite health for 3 seconds, but kills you if you don't get healed back up at the end. 4 min CD.

IBF is comparable to Shield Wall. VB's massively shorter CD and extra healing make it far superior to Last Stand. Popping two Rune Taps back to back is basically a double strength Demo Shout, and that's the dumbest way you could use Rune Tap. Impending Victory isn't even in the same league as Death Strike, and then you add in the rest of Blood's healing. Then AMS just kicks the crap out of spell reflect, and then you throw Purgatory on top of everything else, and warriors are the obviously incorrect choice when faced against magic damage.

I don't want my class to be the wrong choice.

(Continued in next post)
Warriors aren't really good enough at anything to justify being this bad at magic damage. This is a problem that's plaguing us on Live, too. Our mobility is average (this used to be our niche in previous expansions until monks and demon hunters outclassed us), our physical damage reduction is average (Pretty much proved with low-ish representation in ToS, a raid where there was literally 0 unblockable tank focused damage unless you were in spirit world on the Soul boss thing), our DPS is only good with Devastator and probably the worst without, and our self-upkeep is literally the worst without legendary bracers we won't have in BfA. None of these things were buffed in BfA so far, and with our Shield Block uptime as low as it is, we might be below average in physical damage reduction too.

Having some tanks be better at some encounters than others isn't necessarily a bad thing, but Legion was an entire expansion when the answer of which tank to bring was never a Warrior. Mythic Raid WF boss kills are dominated by Druids and Monks. The only reason Prot saw any world first mythic boss kills is because Sco is (was?) a warrior main, and when bosses got tough he ditched the hell out of the class. M+ high key leaderboards are dominated by Death Knights, Paladins, and Demon Hunters. Right now there's time trials for the MDI and literally every tank in the top 20 for all 3 of the time trials is a Death Knight.

Now, what I'm absolutely not saying is "Death Knights, and Death Knights alone, need to be nerfed TO THE GROUND, BABY". What I am saying is that
A) The role-wide magic mitigation nerfs hit warriors harder than at least DKs, and probably other classes too, since they've retained their self-healing and without Indomitable warriors have the lowest health pools, to boot,
B) Magic Mitigation is incredibly important for tanks, and if warriors can't excel in other areas to make up for it, needed to not be so harshly nerfed for warriors, and
C) Self-healing works as well for magic as it does for physical damage, and this appears to not have been nerfed. It needs to be, or warriors need some other kind of magic defense.

I mean, just look at what the OP of this thread is talking about; Paladins get this super-special Holy Shield ability, and they keep their self-healing; all they lost was was SoTR vs Magic. Warriors have a heavily nerfed Spell Reflect (from 50% to 15%!) and no more Ignore Pain at all. Monks still have orbs, DKs still have Death Strike, and I'm guessing the other tanks still have their superior self-healing. (I got too depressed to keep checking)
I mean, you know, just a quick thought while we're on the topic of magic mitigation.
04/11/2018 07:48 PMPosted by Sigma
A few things about tank mitigation that came up in this discussion:

Magic mitigation, outside of major cooldowns like Shield Wall, is generally much lower this expansion. This is intended: the distinction between physical and magical damage is less "these are two parallel things that sometimes require different buttons" and more "this damage is different because it pierces many of your defenses." While tanks can still have some variance in the anti-magic tools, those tools are fewer than in the past and cap out at smaller amounts of mitigation.

Related to this, active mitigation is also making use of armor as a mechanic more often. There are a few reasons for this:
--It makes primary stat more important on tanks. So far in alpha, every tank except Brewmaster has an active or passive effect that turns primary stat into armor. This brings more consistency to the value of ilvl upgrades and other effects that increase primary stat. (TBD exactly how to handle this on Brewmaster)
--It allows us to make use of the fact that more difficult enemies (for example, endgame content later in the expansion) can demand more armor to reach a par level of mitigation (for theorycraft types--the "armor constant" can increase). This again allows for gear progression while keeping armor-related effects balanced at different tiers of content.

Block works similarly to armor. Its effectiveness now increases as you equip higher-ilvl shields with higher block value. Its effectiveness (as a %) decreases as you fight enemies that are meant for stronger gear. In particular, this makes a shield a more significant upgrade than it used to be, for the specs that use them.

In both of the above cases (armor and block), the plan is for the % mitigation they provide to remain roughly constant over the expansion, when in par gear for the content you are doing. Your % will be higher anytime your gear is ahead of the curve, and lower if your gear is behind.


Given that Paladins won't have any on demand magic mitigation outside of long cooldowns, will the teams be rebalancing bosses in mythic+?

Take for example the first boss of Mythic+ Maw. At high levels, his big attack can one shot or almost one shot a tank that doesn't have magic mitigation up. Now that we won't have any on demand for that, what is the dev team's thought process on how to combat that? Healing works if you are still alive but attacks like this can often just outright kill. The big cooldowns work for the first 2 but on tyrannical, you can eat many more than that. Or does the team plan on not making super large magic attacks going forward?
Also having the dungeon journal say what is considered blockable and what is considered a spell would be useful... Legion has been pretty weird about that, always making us wonder if we're suppose to block a giant meteor or spell reflect a claw to the face.

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