Since Benediction's tooltip already claims to reduce the mana cost of instant cast spells -- and Hand of Reckoning is an instant-cast spell -- this is really just a bug fix.
- Fanaticism: reduced to 3 ranks for 6/12/18% bonus and 10/20/30% threat reduction.
Currently, Fanaticism grants a 25% chance to crit with Judgements and 30% threat reduction. The change frees up two points but effectively nerfs Retribution DPS. Judgements are the biggest source of Retribution DPS, so a -7% nerf to crit is going to be palpable. The change might be directed towards lowering PvP burst, however.
- Repentance: no longer resets the Paladin's melee swing timer.
Not that Repentance is used often in PvE, where the swing timer matters, but a buff is a buff.
A strange nerf. Righteous Vengeance currently contributes on the average around 11-13% of Retribution overall damage. Again, this should be a palpable change as damage throughput drops. As a consolation prize, there's two talent points to play with.
Considering very few builds picked up the talent, anyway, this is a pretty good change. It also makes Sanctified Retribution one of the best one point investments.
This change is mostly designed to have Divine Purpose out of reach of Holy Paladins, who took 22 points in Retribution just to pick up this talent. Although many PvP builds also go deep into Protection, that was nerfed with the change to Improved Hammer of Justice.
- Pure of Heart now reduces Curse, Poison, and Disease effects by 15/30%.
Previously was 25/50% but did not include poison. Still not a popular talent for Holy builds, the 30% duration reduction is in line with other duration reduction effects.
- Purifying Power now reduces the cooldown of your Exorcism and Holy Wrath spells by 17/33%.
Previously simply increased the crit chance of these spells. Not a premier talent for healing Paladins, the change to Exorcism makes it a decent -- though not optimal -- choice for that rare breed, the Shockadin.
- Blessed Hands: moved from Tier 5 to Tier 4 and now reduces the mana cost of Hand of Freedom, Hand of Sacrifice and Hand of Salvation by 15/30% and cooldowns by 10/20%.
I'm not certain if the dispel resistance effect was removed, but the cooldown reduction makes the talent somewhat worthy of consideration. Tier 4 is still too deep in the Holy tree for other builds to pick it up casually, and it's still not compelling enough to spend talent points on.
Similar to the change in Improved Devotion Aura, the effect works through any aura. Expect a name change to make the effect clearer.
Glyph of Holy Light has had its ups and downs in recent patches
and we probably should have known that a crit on this was too good to last. Still the best glyph for a Holy Paladin, lack of crits notwithstanding. The range increase definitely makes up for it.
Protection is the clear winner here, with a lot of buffs and a lot of talent points freed. One of the spec's weaker points has been addressed in spades, with a pleasant side effect of PvP viability. Speaking of PvP, however, it looks like some nerfs were aimed squarely at toning down Holy Paladin dominance. The nerfs to Retribution DPS -- and not even burst, necessarily -- are somewhat perplexing. Overall, the changes aren't bad and Patch 3.1 is looking fine for Paladins.
Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.