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Filed under: Paladin

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladining at BlizzCon

The Light and How to Swing It Paladining at BlizzCon

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Wow, what a weekend. Not only was the convention a lot of fun but it was great to meet fellow paladins and non-paladins alike. Most of my time was spent meeting people, watching panels, and playing demos. Amidst the chaos I didn't allocate much time to mulling things over, how the proposed changes in Warlords of Draenor would affect how I, and so many other ret paladins, approach the game, so now that I've had a decent night's sleep and my liver is mostly alcohol-free, I'm spending my day off in blessedly quiet reflection.

We didn't see much of any class discussion this year, and unless I missed an entire panel there wasn't a single paladin-related question throughout the entire convention. There are some big questions that it would be nice to have answered, like the permanency of holy power, the relative weights of our stats, the deletion of the warlock class, etc. We did get a few overall changes, changes that will affect ret in turn, so let's see how some of these could impact our day-to-day facesmashing in Warlords of Draenor.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Tips and tricks for tanking the Gates of Retribution

The Light and How to Swing It Tips and tricks for tanking the Gates of Retribution 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.

The other week we explored the first four bosses of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, though funny enough it's the branch of the instance that doesn't actually take place anywhere near the orc capital. Regardless, now that that section is cleared, we move on to the sunny shores of Durotar for slightly more serious encounters. Time for some of the messiest tanking you've experienced all of Mists!

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution after patch 5.4

The Light and How to Swing It Retribution after patch 54
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Back in June (Wow, seriously? Tempus fugit, I suppose.) I shared my thoughts on some of the changes coming in patch 5.4. As is typical for me when it comes to change, I was a bit harsh in some of my pre-judgments and, now that we are well into the newest content Blizzard has to offer, I'd like to revisit a few of those points.

Inquisition's longer duration
Originally I was not very happy about this change. I felt that maintaining a relatively shorter duration buff was part of what distinguished a "good" ret paladin from a "bad" one, as if squeezing out a tiny amount of extra DPS would make a dramatic difference in performance, and that making it easier to maintain would make the spec utterly boring and unchallenging.

Boy, was I wrong. It took some getting used to at first, for as Inquisition's duration doubled the WeakAura bar that I used to track it remained the same, resulting in far too many early refreshes than I care to admit. But after the honeymoon I had settled into our new relationship pretty well. It may only be an additional 30 seconds, but it did wonders for setting my mind at ease when I went to refresh it.

I still wonder if this is where the devs will stop with it, or if they'll eventually make it passive or allow other abilities to extend its duration (essentially making it passive anyway). I would like to think that Blizzard has learned a great deal from how much tanks are enjoying active mitigation and realize that, on the whole, "active" is fun whereas "passive" is not.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Tips for tanking the first four bosses of Siege of Orgrimmar

The Light and How to Swing It Tips for tanking the first four bosses of Siege of Orgrimmar
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.

Siege of Orgrimmar has been open for a month now (how time flies!) and with what I've seen over the last month I'm still not sure how I feel about the raid as a whole. The first four bosses are utterly uninspiring to tank and it seems like the raid tries to make up for it with some crazy-hectic fights in the next quad. Dark Shaman alone gave me more grey hairs than I care to admit. I get ahead of myself, though.

As they say, there's no better place to start than at the beginning, so in this post I've written up basic quick 'n dirty strats for each of the first four bosses along with glyphing and talenting recommendations to hopefully give you a far easier time toppling the Sha-corrupted forces that stand between you and the actual conflict going on across the sea in Durotar.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Proving yourself at the gold-level tank Proving Grounds

The Light and How to Swing It Proving yourself at the goldlevel tank Proving Grounds
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.

As soon as 5.4 launched, one of my biggest goals (aside from the obvious one of getting the legendary cloak) was to go out and grab gold in the tank Proving Grounds before my co-tank could. I'm sure all of you can appreciate the impulse.

While I wouldn't say gold is hugely difficult (especially now that I've taken some furtive steps into Endless, it feels like a walk in the park in contrast), it's become obvious in hindsight that I made some errors in my first few gold attempts and made finally overcoming that particular challenge more difficult than it needed to be. Thankfully I think I've learned from my mistakes here, and now, like an Afterschool Special, I can impart some useful knowledge on how best to approach Proving Grounds and go for the gold.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Strength DPS gear in Siege of Orgrimmar

The Light and How to Swing It Strength DPS gear in Siege of Orgrimmar WED
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

A new patch means more gear, and more gear means another gear list. Let's get to it before I change my mind and write about how awful it was trying to solo Valithria Dreamwalker in 10-man heroic Icecrown Citadel as holy -- I still can't shake the nightmares.

Unless otherwise noted, the following gear can be found within the Siege of Orgrimmar raid. Non-tier pieces appear in normal, warforged, heroic, and heroic warforged varieties, similar to the gearing scheme in Throne of Thunder.

Oh, and although I covered Siege of Orgrimmar two-handed strength weapons in a previous article, I will briefly repeat their drop locations for the sake of completeness.

Head
Helm of the Night Watchman – drops from the Spoils of Pandaria encounter.
Thranok's Shattering Helm – drops from Galakras.
Helmet of Winged Triumph – token drops from Thok the Bloodthirsty.
Magdalena's Murderous Crown – drops from Ordos on the Timeless Isle, and named after death knight theorycrafter and community member Magdalena.

Neck
Juggernaut's Ignition Keys – drops from Iron Juggernaut.
Malkorok's Tainted Dog Tags – drops from Malkorok.
Anafielle's Spiked Choker – drops from Ordos on the Timeless Isle, and named after ret paladin theorycrafter and community member Anafielle.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Everything tankadins need to know for 5.4

The Light and How to Swing It Everything tankadins need to know for 54
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.

With Blizzard's not-confirmed, delayed, and then for-reals confirmed release date for the Siege of Orgrimmar patch now finally looming in the very near future, this seems as good a time as any to actually sit down and compile and digest the trickle of changes that have steadily been dripping out of the PTR. In previous posts I've talked about the biggest changes as they were first revealed, and since then there have been some even bigger changes, thanks to the numbers pass and its requisite tweaks.

All in all, despite a few nerfs, protection paladins are still sitting pretty. We've got some of the best tanking mechanics in the game, we still have haste as a (powerful and viable) option for gearing, and we still have a wide and varied toolbox at our disposal. This expansion has been very good to us, and this patch does little to change that!

That said, let's dive in and take a look at the details.

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

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.

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

Why ret's tier 16 bonus isn't as bad as everyone thinks

Why rets tier 16 bonus isnt as bad as everyone thinks WED
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

As we enter what are surely the twilight builds of the patch 5.4 PTR we are approaching the "speak now or forever complain about it afterward" part of the marriage between test and live servers. Feedback, I would argue, is more important at this stage, the mechanics stage where general ideas are taken from someone's brain and sculpted with pixels and code, than during the tuning stage, which is more or less a giant equation in need of balancing.

So I donned my lead-lined undergarments and pillow armor and plunged headfirst into the PTR Discussion forums, looking for posts featuring ret discussion. What I found was disappointing, to say the least. Instead of discussing the nice buffs to Inquisition, Guardian of Ancient Kings, or Unbreakable Spirit, most every forum entry I stumbled across was decrying our tier 16 four-piece bonus.

For the unaware, Wowhead shows the current iteration of our tier 16 bonuses as follows:

Tier 16 two-piece bonus: When Art of War activates, all damage is increased by 5% for 6 sec.
Tier 16 four-piece bonus: Holy Power consumers have a 25% chance to make your next Divine Storm free and deal 50% more damage.

The four-piece bonus was reworked once, boosting the free Divine Storm's damage by 50%, but has otherwise remained untouched since. After some initial skepticism I began to really look forward to the bonus, something reminiscent of our tier 10 two-piece ("Your melee attacks have a 40% chance to reset the cooldown on your Divine Storm ability") from a time when the ret paladin reigned supreme.

As such I had a hard time understanding how these players could scream for change from their soapbox daises. I read through soul-crushing thread after soul-crushing thread, expecting to find some sort of logic I could latch onto in an attempt to see where they were coming from. The remainder of this article contains the main points I was able to glean from their diatribes, followed closely by why exactly I think these individuals are off their gourds.

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

Patch 5.4 Vengeance changes explained

Patch 54 Vengeance changes explained
If you remember from last week, Vengeance is being changed in patch 5.4. If like me you've been curious about how it will specifically be changing, Lore over on the official forums has our first explanation of the changes and how they'll shake out. Here's the breakdown.
Lore - 5.4 Vengeance Mechanics - Info Request
Here's some details on exactly how the multi-target diminishing returns are set to work in 5.4. Warning: here there be maths.

The basic, concise explanation is as follows: The Nth strongest (based on pre-mitigation average auto attack DPS) mob that has hit you in the last 5 seconds grants 1/Nth of full vengeance with their attacks. N is recalculated on every hit taken.

So here's an example. Say you're tanking 3 mobs – we'll say it's a boss and two adds. The boss has pre-mitigation average auto attack DPS of 1500k, one add does 400k, and the other add does 300k. The game will form a list of those mobs from 1-3, like so:
1. Boss: 1500k DPS, 1/1 (100%) of normal vengeance is granted
2. First add: 400k DPS, 1/2 (50%) of normal vengeance is granted
3. Second add: 300k DPS, 1/3 (33.333%, repeating of course) of normal vengeance is granted

This would of course continue as more mobs are being tanked (granting 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, and so on). Also, if the second add were to land a hit at any point when the first add hasn't attacked you in the last 5sec (such as if it swings first), that attack would grant 1/2 Vengeance instead of 1/3.

Hope that clears things up for the theorycrafters.


So if tanking a small group or adds that accompany a boss mob, this change will have little effect - it's when tanking huge packs that the vengeance decay will be most noticeable. The calculation based on most damage seems interesting to me - hopefully the calculations won't be such that vengeance fails to stack properly.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Vengeance changes

Patch 54 PTR Vengeance changes
If you're a tank in World of Warcraft you know what Vengeance is. Originally intended to allow tanks to keep up with increased DPS from improved gear with DPS stats on it while accumulating tanking gear that generally lacked those stats, it's turned into a means for tanking players to do chart topping DPS on some pulls (especially AoE ones with multiple tanked mobs). There's been a lot of discussion about what might happen with Vengeance in patch 5.4, and now we have our first look at what Blizzard is contemplating for the tanking specialization.
Rygarius - 5.4 PTR Patch Notes - August 2

Vengeance has received several changes.
  • Vengeance now grants Attack Power equal to 1.5% of the damage taken, down from 1.8% (The tooltip said 2% but it was actually 1.8%).
  • Tanks no longer receive Vengeance from many persistent area damage effects (standing in the fire) or from missed attacks (dodging and parrying an attack will continue to work as it has before).
  • There are now diminishing returns on Vengeance gains while tanking multiple targets. Each additional target grants progressively less Vengeance.


These changes are almost certainly aimed at reducing the very high DPS that we can see on trash pulls and boss fights with a great many streaming adds (such as Tortos' bats or the packs before Iron Qon) especially as we head into the final tier of gear for Mists of Pandaria, which would inflate these numbers even more. Raids that use tanks with the highest DPS tanks will probably feel these changes the most. As always, this is the PTR, so if you have an opinion on these changes getting on the test servers and testing them out is useful so you can give proper feedback.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Weapons and stats for ret paladins in Siege of Orgrimmar

Image
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

Weapons have always been my favorite piece of gear. They're iconic and powerful; they define our spec more clearly than any spell or ability. So when I stepped into Throne of Thunder and finally saw Zerat, Malakk's Soulburning Greatsword drop, I took one look at my aging Shin'ka, Execution of Dominion, a pale copy of its normal and heroic variants, and quickly tossed the axe aside. And then did the same thing to Zerat when we saw Uroe, Harbinger of Terror drop from Lei Shen. And again when a heroic Greatsword of Frozen Hells gracefully tumbled from the heavens and landed on the corpse of Horridon, nestled in whatever pockets or pouches or sacs a massive direhorn may have.

As patch 5.4 and the Siege of Orgrimmar loom on the horizon, some exciting and deadly instruments wait to be plundered. Since this will (okay, might) be the final raid of the expansion, now is a good time to reexamine our stat weights before we make any judgment calls on the bludgeons that those savages have to offer.

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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.

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

3 things retribution paladins should borrow from windwalkers

3 things retribution paladins should pick up from windwalkers
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at dand@wowinsider.com with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!

After about a dozen or so failed attempts, I am finally leveling a monk. I'm not sure I could even tell you why I failed to push myself past level 20, but almost every jade-colored Grid square I had started would eventually meet the business end of the word "Delete" before learning how to ride a bike.

Now I am jabbing and kicking my way into Outland and, somewhat shamefully, am having a complete blast. I almost feel bad that my weekly playtime on the monk is exceeding that of my paladin by a significant margin, though after reading through the forums and seeing many posters make comparisons between ret paladins and windwalker monks, I don't feel quite as bad.

Indeed, in many ways my monk reminds me of my paladin -- a melee class using a secondary resource reminiscent of combo points and maintaining a damage-increasing buff feels right at home. Still, though, there are a number of major differences between the specs, enough to make me a little jealous of what monks have that paladins don't.

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

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.

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

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