Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

The Light and How to Swing It: A look at the tanking gear of patch 5.4

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Is there anything more enjoyable as a patch approaches than ogling all the new gear set to drop in the next raid tier? When the most addicting psychological hook in this game is the steady increase of character power, nothing can be more intoxicating than the promise of new heights and plateaus of character strength and durability. Breathe deeply my friends -- that is the smell of loot, ripe for the picking.

Come patch 5.4, a whole new array of armor, trinkets, weapons, and shields will be preparing to find their way into your bags and the very first time you set foot within the new raid you'll want to be prepared with an idea of where the best loot will be dropping for you. Whether it's from that gaping hole in the Vale, behind the walls of Orgrimmar, or from the smoking corpse of Ordos, there's plenty of excellent new gear to choose from.

In this post I'm going to first talk briefly about what gearing priorities will look in patch 5.4 and how you will need to cope with inevitably reaching the 50% haste breakpoint, then I'll break down all the new tanking gear in 5.4 by slot. And, thanks to our love of various DPS stats, that definition of what can be tanking gear (for good or ill) casts a very wide net.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: How will protection glyph come 5.4?

The Light and How to Swing It How many abilities is too many
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

One of the most monumental changes that protection paladins will be facing in the upcoming patch will be a simple nerf to one of our favorite glyphs. Since just about the beginning of Mists, protection paladins have uniformly equipped the Glyph of the Battle Healer to great effect and, alas, the devs have finally decided to step in and put a stop to our shenanigans.

You can't really blame them, Battle Healer was brokenly good -- free heals that were augmented by Vengeance, and while they weren't a gamechanger by any means (thanks to overheals), it was still an advantage that paladins had over any other tanking class. It was a needed change.

Regardless, the change to Battle Healer has a ripple effect for protection paladins as it makes Battle Healer a purely situational glyph for fights where the raid needs your Seal of Insight procs more than you need them for yourself. Which means, for probably the first time in many, many months, we will have an open glyph slot. Let's take a look at what could possibly fill that empty space, both in our hearts and our glyphs tab.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Will Proving Grounds be the new litmus test for players?

Will Proving Grounds be the new litmus test for players
A few days ago there was a thread on the official forums where a player expressed concerns that the new Proving Grounds feature would be used by PUG leaders to filter invites for groups, raids, or any other group content. Because Proving Grounds essentially grades any participants, the fear is that trade chat will be flooded by folks looking only to invite players with, for example, a gold medal/completion. Bronze and silver need not apply.

It's a pattern that has repeated itself many times whenever a new way of evaluating players was added to the game. In the past we've seen PUG leaders demand armory links, gearscore/average iLevels, and even achievements proving completion of the raids that they were organizing for (which often created Catch-22 situations for many players).

Read more →

Something needs to be done about avoidance

Brutallus: The only fight avoidance has ever been the best stat for.
I've had a bit of a chip on my shoulder lately about avoidance stats in WoW. For the duration of the expansion plate tanks of all stripes have been spurning pieces with dodge or parry -- or heavens forbid, both -- in favor of more interesting stats like hit, expertise, haste, and mastery, which all provide some sort of hook to the new active mitigation paradigm.

It's weird, but in this case, Blizzard is a victim of their own success. They've designed a fantastic new way for tanks to perform their job, which has had the unfortunate side effect of neutering two of the oldest tanking stats in the game. Yet, Blizzard seems convinced that this is a situation that needs fixing, rather than a blessing in disguise, and across the various patches of Mists they have been making tweaks here and there to make avoidance stats more attractive for each plate tank.

I believe that this is an incorrect approach; they should instead embrace this happy accident. Much as how leather tanks get to enjoy DPS stats like haste and crit as their bread and butter, so too should plate tanks be freed from the oppressive yoke of bygone, obsolete stats like dodge and parry. The game has finally left those broken stats behind and this is the opportunity to usher in a new, more-perfect system of tank gearing.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Light and How to Swing It: Danger looms on the PTR for prot

The Light and How to Swing It How many abilities is too many
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Well, this is it. Pack it in, we had a good run. We once were lions amongst melee, kings amongst tanks -- but no more! Thanks to the latest PTR build and the villainous Ghostcrawler, we couldn't even tank an adorable, spiked battle Corgi, let alone Garrosh!

How was that -- dramatic enough? I'm trying to capture the special spirit of despair that the official forums usually excels at. (Ok, yeah, room for improvement.)

Anyway, truthfully, these aren't particularly devastating nerfs, and on the whole won't do much to tamper our survivability. If anything it hurts our utility a bit, though there are worse spheres to be nerfed in. So, let's dig in and talk about what each change means and how it will reverberate.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: A look at what's in store for prot in 5.4

The Light and How to Swing It How many abilities is too many
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

The first big 5.4 patch last week didn't have much of anything for prot, and despondently many of us found ourselves looking over what were primary pvp-oriented or retribution-focused changes. However, finally, our time has come! Wednesday night a whole slate of changes hit the PTR, with all sorts of eyebrow-raising additions for the tankadins out there. Let's dig in and talk about what's on our plates for the next patch as of the latest build.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: How many abilities is too many?

The Light and How to Swing It How many abilities is too many
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Remember Divine Intervention?

I was talking about bygone abilities with some guildmates the other day (we need a ret/holy hybrid, by the way!) and it evolved into an interesting conversation about ability bloat in WoW. Some of them thought that they had way too many abilities on their bars with far too many keybinds to manage, and were dreading finding room for anything new that could be added in the next expansion.

Personally, I don't feel like I'm in the saturation point just yet (maybe because I'm not a prolific macro-er) but I can definitely sympathize with the sentiment. Ever since TBC, Blizzard has been heaping more and more abilities into our toolbox, and if we're not yet at a saturation point, we will soon be at one in the future. Regardless, it's interesting to look not only at what our toolbox is like now, but also what it used to be like, and then if something had to be cut down the line, where the knife may well be pointed.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: The problem with tanks

The Light and How to Swing It The problem with tanks SAT
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Last Thursday, Ghostcrawler tweeted something which caused a bit of a stir within the tanking community. In it he revealed that the devs were looking at some strict caps for Vengeance levels (30% of health for 10s, 50% for 25s) that would prevent tanks from using Vengeance to pursue unintended things like solo tanking a two-tank raid boss or standing in fire to stack really obscene amounts of attack power.

Now, this isn't another column about the virtues or not of Vengeance. That's a pretty mutilated horse at this point, and from the looks of it, the mechanic is not going anywhere any time soon. However, the brief rekindling of the Vengeance debate did once again shine some light on what is a continuing problem in WoW: what should tanks be allowed to do (in terms of damage output) and what can be done to keep players from parlaying excessive survivability into unintended advantages?

What do you do when one third (arguably two-thirds, a lot of this can apply to healers as well) of your players' roles revolves around the mitigation and prevention of damage, and the primary means you have of creating barriers or challenges for players is the threat of character death?

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Throne of Thunder With Protection Paladins: Being awesome

The Light and How to Swing It Breaking encounters in the Throne of Thunder with protection paladins
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

It's not a new phenomenon for protection paladins to be able to use their extensive utility toolbox to mitigate or outright circumvent fight mechanics; it's something that we've been doing since Uther first picked up a blunt object. Throne of Thunder continues that lofty tradition with all sorts of mechanics that can be ducked or dodged by crafty paladins with an excellent sense of timing and the proper addons or macros. We'll also touch on whether it's a good thing that one corner of WoW's tanks can break aspects of an encounter, and the ramifications of such possibilities.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: In defense of stamina

This looks like a 200% spike event.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

If you have spent much time on the official forums at any point since the beginning of -- oh, say, Cataclysm -- you'd notice that there is a particularly prevalent slur that is oft flung around in tanking discussions. This slur cuts to the very core of what it means to be a tank, it is an accusation of seeking vainglory over properly gearing ourselves for survivability. Worse, it is an accusation of being behind the times on tank theorycrafting due to either apathy or incompetence. It is the Scarlet S.

Stam stacker.

Read more →

Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Pandamonium
The gaming artwork of Jessica Dinh
Mists of Pandaria Raid DPS Analysis
Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition
Death Knight plague epidemic
Mega Bloks: Goblin Zeppelin Ambush
Mists of Pandaria Beta: Ruins beneath Scarlet Halls
Mists of Pandaria: New warlock pets
Female Pandaren Customization

 

Joystiq

Massively

Engadget