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WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Paladin changes


After a wait that I was beginning to suspect wouldn't end, the 3.1 PTR is finally online and we have some new 3.1 patch notes. Though there are some noticable changes announced earlier this month missing from the latest patch notes, all of them seem to be in the current PTR build, only undocumented (most undocumented notes here are via MMO-Champion). As with all undocumented changes -- they may change at any time. For a complete rundown of the changes listed in the patch notes (and the changes not listed in the patch notes!), read on.
  • Auras will now persist through death.
Surprise! A small convenience that helps a class that needs the most preparation -- aura, blessing, seal.
  • Exorcism can now be used on all targets, but is now a guaranteed critical strike vs Undead and Demon type mobs.
An ability that allows Paladins to effectively tangle with mobs of all types with the same level of lethality they currently wield against the undead? Yes, please! This is a great DPS buff that should help transition Paladin DPS from Naxxramas to Ulduar. Hopefully they do the same thing with Holy Wrath, but let the stun apply only to Undead and Demons.
  • Shield of Righteousness now deals 130% of block value + 520 at the highest rank. It no longer causes a high amount of threat.
Previously, max rank Shield of Righteousness was block value plus 400, so this while the damage boost is pretty solid, the threat would've been sweet.
  • Blessing of Kings is now trainable at level 20. Removed from talent trees.
Blizzard is finally granting what the Paladin community has been asking for years. We knew this was coming -- the only real question was what would be replacing it...

Protection

  • Divinity, new Protection talent: Tier 1 Protection talent, increases healing done by and to you by 1/2/3/4/5%.
Replacing Blessing of Kings and Improved Blessing of Kings on the first tier of the Protection tree. This doesn't seem likely to pull most tankadins away from the +15% strength given by Divine Strength (converting into coveted block value), also on the first tier of the Protection tree. But I think we'll see a lot of Holy Paladins interested in picking up the flat 5% healing boost provided by this talent -- or at least as much of it as their builds can afford to pick up.
  • Sacred Duty: rank 1 now increases Stamina by 4%.
Currently, rank 1 gives +3% stamina and rank 2 boosts this to a total of +8% stamina. This evens out the benefit for both talent points, giving you an additional 4% stamina for each point rather than 3% for the first and 5% for the second. Most won't notice the change.
  • Shield of the Templar: gives your Avenger's Shield a 33/66/100% chance to silence targets hit by it for 3 sec and reduces all damage taken by 1/2/3%.
Completely reworked. Previously (at max rank) increased the damage of Holy Shield, Avenger's Shield and Shield of Righteousness spells by 30%. The silence effect helps out one of the weaker areas of Paladin tanking and makes Protection Paladins truly frightful against casters in PvP.
  • Judgements of the Just: now reduces the cooldown of your Hammer of Justice by 10/20 sec, increases the duration of your Seal of Justice effect by 0.5/1 sec, in addition to its previous effect.
Previously only reduced melee attack speed of your target by 10/20% after a Judgment. With the interrupt effect of Hammer of Justice, this essentially gives deep Protection a spell interrupt on a 20 second cooldown, which again improves tanking against casters. In PvP, this is a 6 second stun every 20 seconds which, although rapidly deteriorates with diminishing returns, will be very difficult to deal with.
More damage for the same talent cost? Straight up buff.
  • Guarded by the Light: reduces spell damage taken by 3/6% and gives a 50/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Divine Plea when you hit an enemy.
Previously, this reduced the mana cost of your Holy Shield, Avenger's Shield and Shield of Righteousness spells by 30% in addition to the spell damage reduction. The change makes it a perfect tool for mana regeneration, for those times when Blessing of Sanctuary doesn't grant returns. This should effectively solve any mana problems Paladin tanks have.
  • Holy Shield damage slightly increased across all ranks.
More damage, same cost. 'nuf said.
  • Ardent Defender: now a 3 point talent, reducing damage taken by 10/20/30%.
Same effect for two fewer talent points. This frees up points for a very bloated tree.
More free points. Enjoy.
  • Blessing of Sanctuary: grants 2% of maximum displayed mana when the target blocks, parries, or dodges a melee attack.
If I'm reading this change correctly, Blessing of Sanctuary no longer restores rage or runic power. This makes it virtually exclusive to Paladin tanks, devaluing the blessing greatly. This shouldn't affect Paladin tanks.
  • Divine Guardian now redirects damage "(up to a maximum of 150/300% of the Paladin's health)."
Previously had no limitations. Now works for any Aura. Expect a name change to reflect the new mechanic.
This is a huge nerf for Retribution and Holy PvP which would take points into Protection for the 30 second stun. However, this change works well with the massive buff to Judgements of the Just. It also frees up one yummy talent point.

Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

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