80 Prot Paladin Talent Build

Now that Diamon (my Paladin) is 80 and patch 3.3.3 is live it is time to update the Protection Paladin talent build. Once again I’ve read through forums, and the base build is pretty steady, but there are a ton of variations for a Tank build.

Here is a Tank build I’m planning to use for Diamon. Like most builds it uses the Retribution talent tree for additional powers and that makes threat building easier.

Now no build is good without some explanation, so here goes:

  1. I’ve seen builds that have more points in Crusade and Seal of Command. This seems to me to be a build for when you’re never out of mana, and also looking for maximum threat. That is not my case as a new Paladin tank, so I’ve taken some points out of these areas.
  2. I did however put a point in Conviction, as a 1% crit chance is always a great thing.
  3. If I was being totally selfless as a new 80 tank, I would have taken at least some points in Divinity in the Prot tree, as it increases the healing that the Paladin receives. But meh, most runs have very over-geared toons, so and I’d rather match the pace of the run to the gear and spec of the characters than try to stay alive the most.
  4. On the flip side of that is choosing a Glyph for reduced cooldown on Lay of Hands. I can’t think of a handier ability for a protection paladin. The self heal is huge, and having that power more often is a godsend.
  5. Some builds will only have 1 rank of Spiritual Attunement, but I want and need both points.
  6. An alternate could also be to put some points into the improved Seal of Vengeance in the Holy tree, but I rate Crusade’s 2% to all and 4% to Undead as a better bonus.

Much of what is good in Tankadins is available for easy reading at MainTankadin.failsafedesign.com.

This post is an update to my previous post for a level 70 spec from October 2008.

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Rise of the Paladin, ding 80!

After a weekend of burning through all the rested xp, a stack of instances, and more kills that I can poke a stick at; my Paladin is now level 80!

/happydance /rawr

Diamon (armory link)* was my first Warcraft character, rolled as I like the Paladin class from DnD, and has always been a character that resonates with me. I leveled primarily as a tank, with a bad dps set for solo questing, and honestly I think the tanking is far more fun.

Upon hitting 80 I spent a stack of gold on the skill-ups, equipped a few upgrades that I had in the bank waiting, was gifted a set of ilevel 200 Shoulders (thanks Rakk), bought a few upgrades from the AH too.

Now wearing a mix of blues and purples, and looks ready to strike into the basic Heroics. Bring it on.

In the coming weeks I’ll probably add to my list of daily pugs, all the stories of being an under geared dps and tank, and no doubt will have some utterly stunning stories of ineptitude (like x2 DKs in a CoS run who could not do more that 500-700 dps).  I suppose I should dps a run and see if I can do any better. 🙂

Grats also to Rakk who’s shammy levels with me and also ding’ed last night.

*Armory was down when I posted, but honestly – he is 80.

Insane alt-a-holic rules

There are some things I’ve been doing with Alts that will drive me insane eventually.

Having one DK character active was a tad dull, so I added a Priest as another. Then I found that my second choice of toon was interesting for a short time, but not fun overall, so I added a Druid instead. Then decided to add a lowbie alt Hunter to be silly on; and then was impressed by a Tank I saw and added my old Pally.

But having seen a DK, Druid, and Pally tank, I felt like I was missing out on having a Warrior, so pondering starting a Warrior. But my Shaman also has ok gear as heirlooms, and the Mage will get some play soon.

So Death Knight, + Priest, + Druid, +Paladin, + Hunter, + Warlock, + pondering a Warrior or Shaman, + Mage afterward…

Yes, I’m an Alt-a-holic again. So now I need a rule set for what to play. Continue reading

Positive Random Dungeon Stories

Do I need or Green on this?...as a Hunter...

Need or Greed...Blizzard says no loot for you!

A shared topic via the TNB folks was about Positive Random Dungeon Stories. Now don’t get me wrong, I do have a lot “standard” pug stories where it works out OK; and sometimes a good event.

Often though the memorable is a bad event rather than a good event. Human nature to remember that way.”

So here goes – some good things that have happened…

It’s all Hunter Loot.

Did a quick SM run on my mid 30s Hunter and cleaned up on loot random rolls. We all rolled Greed on everything, but somehow I walked away with almost everything; in the order of 6 of the 10 random drops went to me.

I just had to laugh and keep rolling greed.

UberHeals in leveling run.

A GunDrak run was recently made a total laugh for my 74 Tankadin, where an 80 Paladin healer allowed us to zerg through almost everything. Doing 3 pack pulls as a level 74 Tank is too much fun to have. No idea why that happened in terms of “random dungeon”, but I can’t say I’m unhappy.

Quick solid run, plenty of polite and fun chatter in /party, and only the Warlock dps in the group died; which is par for the course for Warlocks.

Arkham the Warlock is back!

Along with my Tankadin, I’m also dusting off my old Warlock to see what he can do – Arkham is back with destruction on his mind. At 72 doing the random group dungeon run is just a blast (or is that a Conflagration?).

I’ve spec’ed deep into Destruction, hardly need the pet, and just nuke everything. I don’t even care about dying, as repairs are just so damn cheap.

Bear druid is Tank -Rawr

Lastly my Druid now has a solid 5 man tank set that can do almost everything. Halls of Stone is cake, I actually like doing packs of mobs, and even the painful tunnel in PoS is not the bitch it can be as a DK tank. Having a huge HP total helps too.

Cooldowns? Nope, just use Swipe.

Mob packs? Easy, just use AoE taunt and Swipe.

DPS with Threat fever? Taunt, maul, etc. Kids stuff.

Happy randoms to all, may your loot drop and repairs be cheap.

Prot Paladin Talent Build

Update 2: This post is now out of date due to the changes in Cataclysm, and has nothing specific to level 85 tanks anymore.

I can tell you that builds for Paladins have changed in an incredible range of ways, as to has the rotations and use of resources. The Holy power addition means a Paladin Tank is no longer just a AoE tank – target switching is real for all Tanks now. If you don’t like switching targets and loved being lazy then Paladin is probably the best choice for tanking, but you’ll readlly need to be careful and change your style to be effective.

The EJ Forum is the best place to start, read the first sections, and then jump across to TankSpot for more information.

Update: A new post for Paladin Tanks at Level 80 is here, updated for 3.3.3.

The patch v3.0.2 has me thinking of how to spec, and honnestly I just don’t know. I’ve tried to silently troll the usual forums for builds, but found a storm of activity with no clear winners.

So here goes…Here is a spec that is for a level 70 Prot Paladin, is heavy on Tanking, and has little flex into the other talent trees.

Edit: As 3.1 is fast approaching, consider this spec out of date. I’m sure the basics will be ok, but I’m not claiming this is accurate anymore.

Continue reading

Downranking Paladin Tank stats

kid in a toy tankWhile you’re leveling you’re always hunting for the best gear, and IMHO good Tank gear is not as common as other stuff. As you get to 70 that gear continues to improve well past the pre-70 items.

But I’ve noticed that as a Paladin Tank you need to swap gear out if you’re doing a lower level instance (downranking gear rather than spells). This is so that you’re not as tough as you are normally.

You’ll actually take damage, so you can get healed; and continue to load threat where you need to.

Q. How rare are pre-70 Paladin tanks, and what can we expect? Continue reading

Tricks for young Pallys

As a tanking Paladin there are some subtle parts of playing that it took me a long time to commit to memory, or practice with regularity. Many of the tips & tricks below carry across for any character or class, but in particular I have found a significant difference when using a Protection Paladin who is still gearing up, as opposed to a character who is already using high quality gear.

I’m going to assume that you know about stacking blessings, and you’ve read all about what buffs to use in Opportunistic Rotation – if not let me know and I’ll post on it.

A. Check the damage type from mobs regularly.

Most creatures will be hurting you with physical damage, so the choice of aura/buff is easy. However there are some creatures where the damage type is not obvious, or you may forget to switch Aura type to gain more resistance to a particular type of mob. Especially true of casters who might do shadow damage (like the Skettis casters).

For example the Mana Worms in the Bashir Landing do Nature damage when you hit them, and their physical attacks are really weak. So instead of worrying about which aura or buff, I buy a few Nature Resist potions and absorb the damage. This means the recovery between fights is much quicker.

This is normal behavior in an Instance so you learn what the best strategies are, but it applies equally to solo play.

B. Check the AH for cheap pots, food, scrolls, and buffs.

As prot spec the mana bar when soloing is never full enough, and a few extra mana pots are always handy. Browsing the AH for cheap potions is always a good idea, and the don’t have to be Super Mana or Health to be handy. Also keep an eye out for cheap food, and other consumables, as often folks sell these items without an appreciation of how valuable or handy they really are. That extra Amour potion, or health regeneration can make a difference. Lower level water seems especially cheap (or find a mage and press the button on their forehead). A few silver spent on buffs can cut significant time off your combat recovery.

Extra buffs will make a difference when doing an instance where your gear is close to the limit of what you can survive. Doing a harder instances means you will need stamina food, weapon and shield buffs, and a potion or two. Get them and encourage those you play with to do the same.

A good list of items to watch for is any mid level to late level scrolls and cheap potions. Also check the AH at different times during the week, as popular raid nights will create shortages, and other nights you’ll see a few bargains.

C. Use a buff time manager.

As you run more and more instances, you’ll find the demand for Blessings to be many and varied. There will be times when you will be using 30 minute buffs on some classes, and also 10 minute buffs on others. A good tool for managing this is PallyPower, as it lets you set what buffs each paladin in the group will use. This might seem overkill initially, but it becomes a no brainer to see how long each buff has remaining, who is missing a buff, and re-buffing is a simple one click on each class icon. My old guild was so happy with PallyPower that it is a raid requirement for all Paladins.

An example of this is when you are Tanking with another pally in group. Your tanking buff is useless to them, so hit them with Salv (or what ever is useful), and use the 10 minute tank buff on yourself. The monitor will warn you when its time to re-buff them, which means you only need worry about yourself. They can in turn use the tool to buff you with Light or Wisdom, and 10 minute buff themselves.

Also consider a strategy when in a group with more than one Paladin. If you have buffs that they don’t (Bo Kings) then get them to apply buffs in accordance with what is useful all round. eg. One Paladin does Salv all round (not you), then you do Wis/Might/Kings depending on the target class. If you have three Paladins, get Salv and Kings all round, and Wis/Light/Might on class specifics.

Also check out a mod called Aurora (Ace2 compatible) which gives you a warning when you enter combat with Crusader aura on. The big red warning will help train you to switch before pulling, and catch it for you whe you’re being forgetful.

D. Learn about your friends

Spend the time to learn about what other classes and professions can bring to the run. Taunt, Sap, Shackle, Sheep, Fear (pally and warlock), Stun, Slow, Mind Control, Seduce, Kite, Trap, etc, should all be part of what you regularly consider, but it takes extra effort to really understand what the limitations of these control methods are. Some instances are almost impossible without the right type of crowd control.

For example: if your Priest doing the Mind Control gets hurt, it all goes sour. So tank well away from them, or get them to stand way off to the side. Ask what spec your Rogue and Hunters are to see if they will have the improved versions of Sap and Trap. Might be handy to know that you have a few extra seconds longer than normal on that CC, or that the Hunter is happy to chain trap.

Also learn what professions can help. The Drums of Fear from Leatherworking can help in a pinch, and you can use Freeze bombs and other explosives from Engineering to help slow and pull mobs to where you need them. There may even be times when a well placed Net created by a Tailor may help (like when the Warlock tailor drawns aggro and you taunt is on cooldown).