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[EDITED] Paladin changes in Beta build 8962


Unlike last build, where Paladins got so many important changes it took me two posts to cover them all, we get just a little love this Beta build. So little, in fact, that I didn't bother writing it up until now. For those curious Paladins, however, here are the goodies (and baddies) that popped up in Beta build 8962.

Protection
Hammer of the Righteous was changed from a triple-target Crusader Strike -- which was kind of silly, really -- into a weapon strike that works off DPS as base damage. The spell now reads: "Hammer the current target and up to 2 additional nearby targets, causing 3 times your main hand damage per second as Holy damage." Which means that even fast one-handed weapons work well with the spell because it calculates from DPS. It makes perfect sense and is a definitive step away spell damage weapons, which traditionally have low DPS. Meanwhile, Improved Devotion Aura's healing effect was also buffed to a maximum of 6%, up from 3%, and Toughness was nerfed to a 30% duration reduction for all movement impairing effects.

Retribution
The Art of War was corrected to make the Paladin's next Flash of Light instant, merely a fix from last build. Replenishment, the mana regeneration buff from Judgements of the Wise, was nerfed to .25% of total mana per tick as opposed to .5%. I'm not so sure why they nerfed it, but a permanent, constant tick might have been overwhelming in raid situations in Beta. One important change to Retribution is the revision of Judgement of Command to deal a guaranteed crit on stunned targets as opposed to added damage. This tones down Retribution's burst into something more controllable and also gives a controlled proc for The Art of War. It's a change many Paladins have been asking for and we're unlikely to see ludicrous numbers from Judgements now.

Glyphs
Glyph of Spiritual Attunement increases the mana gained from Spiritual Attunement by 2%, which is a negligible amount for an obsolete mechanic. Spiritual Attunement was made purely for Protection Paladins and to a lesser degree Retribution Paladins using Seal of Blood. With proper mana regeneration mechanics in place, Spiritual Attunement is no longer as vital to the equation as it once was, making this glyph dated and weak.

Glyph of Turn Evil makes Turn Evil instant cast, which is a really cool minor glyph, which is useful in PvP for sending away those pesky Felhunters. [EDIT: Apparently, it's a Major Glyph... which makes it so much less attractive. Sorry for the mix-up!] The old version reduced the cooldown of the spell by 5 seconds, which was pretty lame. Glyph of Cleansing reduces the mana cost of Cleanse and Purify, so, um... hooray, I guess? Lastly, there's Glyph of Avenging Wrath which reduces the cooldown of Hammer of Wrath by 50% or 3 seconds whenever Avenging Wrath is active. This makes Avenging Wrath ideal to cast when opponents or bosses are at 35%, allowing roughly 6 casts of Hammer of Wrath during that time. This is my favorite glyph so far.

Don't ask why the tooltips are wonky. Some of these glyphs seem to have replaced old ones, so it's safe to say that Paladin glyphs are pretty far from finished. It feels as though we're getting close to finalizing the Protection and Retribution trees, although I expect quite a few more changes to the Holy tree in the coming weeks. I really like how Paladins are shaping up for Wrath of the Lich King, although it's clear that some work still needs to be done. With less than two months to go before release, I hope everything gets ironed out soon.

Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

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