Regarding Active Mitigation

I've recently returned to the game after taking a break during Cataclysm and I've spent a significant amount of time reading up on Prot Warrior and Prot Paladin, and frankly I'm confused about active mitigation.

I have leveled my Warrior to 90 and my Paladin to 84 and am currently deciding which I'll play for the rest of the expansion. On my Prot Warrior, I can keep up my physical damage mitigation buff nearly 100% of the time. On my Prot Paladin it's a different story because the active mitigation buff Shield of the Righteous is only 3 seconds long. I've read two very conflicting pieces of information about tanking up to this point. 1. Maximum up time for the physical mitigation buff is essential. For Pallies, this means having Shield of the Righteous up almost 45% of the time your tanking. 2. Active mitigation abilities need to be timed so that they're used when they're most beneficial. How is it possible to maintain 45% up time on Shield of the Righteous if we're saving active mitigation for larger attacks? This sounds like pooling for mechanics rather than maintaining up time.

Up to this point, I've simply been spamming SOTR whenever I have 3 Holy Power, regardless of how I am being attacked and topping myself off with Word of Glory if necessary. It's worked just fine. But, "just fine," doesn't cut it for me. If I can be doing better or improving in some way or understanding something that I don't - this is what I want. So, to be clear, should I be conserving Holy Power for specific attacks? I tanked several Heroic dungeons on my Warrior and had zero survivability issues, which had me thinking all this talk of timing our active mitigation was rather silly. But, I've also read Heroics aren't as "Heroic" as they used to be. Is conservation important in raiding? And if so, can you tell me how and provide an example?
The short answer is that both are correct. You use ShoR normally until you know a big physical attack is coming.

With the way Holy Power works, you're not really losing uptime by saving ShoR as long as you're not losing any Holy Power--that is, not using Holy Power generators while already at 5 Holy Power (or not using them at all).

Most big attacks that you'd save ShoR for are timed or telegraphed, so you'd know in advance that you need to hold onto ShoR for a moment. Thus, you can freely use ShoR at 3 Holy Power up until those points. Just make sure to time it so that you have 3 Holy Power when the attack comes.

And heroic dungeons aren't terribly difficult (they're tuned like level 90 normals would've been). Raids are a pretty big step up from them.

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