Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

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

The Light and How to Swing It: No hybrid taxation without representation!

The Light and How to Swing It
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!

Lately I've been browsing the paladin forums, usually with a stiff drink in hand. I'm not quite sure what draws me to those forums – almost every ret post is about PvP or Inquisition, but over time I've managed to find a few that validate my searching with their thought-provoking, insightful, and sometimes humorous nature. The other day, for example, I stumbled upon a post that made me scratch my beard stubble, put down my watered-down gin, and think. In it, the author briefly introduced the notion that he or she felt that players trying to heal in ret spec shouldn't be summarily votekicked for offending the linear sensibilities of the patrons of the Random Dungeon Finder.

Reading through the back and forth provided some good entertainment, and a few individuals earned my respect for being able to heal or tank effectively while also sustaining decent DPS numbers (if their stories are true, of course), but all of this got me thinking: should paladins (or hybrids in general, for that matter) be unshackled from the "one spec-one role" dictum that has dominated the thought-space of WoW players for years?

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Mastering the Troves of the Thunder King as a paladin

The Light and How to Swing It A look at 52 tanking loot
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.

Fortune and glory, kid. Nothing animates like the prospect of a massive pile of treasure, especially when you're racing against the clock and greedily snatching up as much as you can. The trick, in the end, is to be prepared for any obstacles thrown at you -- that is what separates the Indiana Joneses of this world from the Satipos. And if you prefer to be the former and exit the scenario with more gold than you can carry, you'll need to do your homework before you plunge into this exciting new feature from patch 5.2.

Thankfully, paladins tend to have a lot of tricks up their sleeves and with the new talent system that is doubly true. With the right preparation, we can make the most of our toolset and claw our way to the end of the loot run with a minimum of muss or fuss.

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Swap seals, not sandwiches

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!

Not being particularly captivated by anything in patch 5.2 so far, I've recently picked up a prot warrior and have carried him through some of the lower level areas. This isn't the first time I've tried leveling up a warrior; back in Wrath I had a level 80 fury warrior that was loads of fun, at least until Blizzard nerfed Titan's Grip and my poorly equipped berserker cow lost his ill-gotten mojo.

Since then I've tried to recapture that magic but there was always something that bugged me about the warrior playstyle: stance dancing. Being forced to choose between creating complicated macros or increasing my number of keybinds by some unseemly factor, I have typically opted for the hidden choice that was retiring the character. Thankfully this aspect of the warrior class seems to have been toned down a bit in Mists, so I figured I'd give our shielded brethren another go.

As paladins we don't have to deal with stances that lock us into or out of certain abilities (though many have pleaded with Blizzard to change that), but we do have something similar -- the seal system.

The Swiss Army seal

If you happened to pick up the paladin class sometime after vanilla WoW, you were fortunate enough to level up under the new seal regime. Under the old system, seals were a short-duration buff that was immediately consumed upon casting Judgement (back then they didn't skimp on the vowels!) I vaguely remember this mechanic, back when my friends first introduced me to the game. I very much disliked having to recast my seal so often, as many others did, I'm sure.

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Tanking the first three bosses of Throne of Thunder

The Light and How to Swing It A look at 52 tanking loot
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.

Like jumping into a cold pool after spending too much time in the hot tub, tanking Throne of Thunder after weeks of tier 14 may be a bit of a shocking experience. (Sorry, had to.) This place is no joke -- the health and damage requirements are ratcheted up severely from the previous tier of raiding. The bosses will hit harder and the mechanics will be tighter, but on the other hand, the loot will be even shinier. Honor and glory awaits in the halls of the Thunder King.

The first quarter of the dungeon is designated as the Last Stand of the Zandalari, and you'll be seeing some old, tusked faces. Let's talk about what you'll need to do to withstand everything that the finest warriors of that dying land can throw at you.

Read more →

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

How to key-bind your retribution paladin

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!

There are few things more frustrating while playing video games than being unable to control your character properly. In select cases this can be due to some fault in the game itself, but more often than not it tends to be a hardware malfunction. I had an increasingly difficult time playing Halo 3 when I would whip my controller at the wall in a blind rage every time someone would counter-snipe me just when I found a particularly good perch.

Recently though, my troubles have been with my mouse. My Logitech G500 has served me well for a few years but countless hours of furious clicking in games like Diablo III and Torchlight II have taken their toll. After some careful deliberation I decided to get the G500's older brother, the Logitech G600. I felt, playing as much WoW as I do these days, investing in a self-proclaimed "MMO mouse" would be sensible.

When I got the mouse and unboxed it, however, I was not prepared for just how many buttons this thing has. I sat with my spellbook open trying to find the most reasonable arrangement of keybinds for longer than I care to admit. Eventually I settled on a group of binds that I'm slowly but surely getting accustomed to, though not before I "misclick" and toss a Hand of Protection on a hunter.

This week I'd like to go over keybinds, discussing some general tips and going over two different schemes that I've used that hopefully some of you will find useful (unless you're left-handed, in which case I apologize that these tips may not be all that helpful for your sinister situation). If you have another setup you'd like to share, please do!

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: A look at 5.2 tanking loot

The Light and How to Swing It A look at 52 tanking loot
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.

Another patch, another tumbling pile of loot that we will spend the next half year greedily chasing like a kid in a candy store. Y'know, if the kid was only allowed to visit the candy store once a week, and the store owner handed him a random piece every time he visited. Still, it's pretty exciting, the possibilities of a new patch. Aside from all the interesting new stuff to do, a new patch always presents the opportunity to grow your character in power and effectiveness through ever-increasing item levels.

5.2 is unique in that, for the first time, most raid drops will have five different versions of item level value. With the introduction of Thunderforged items, we now can collect Raid Finder, Normal, Normal Thunderforged, Heroic, and Heroic Thunderforged flavors of each and every raid drop. Despite this cacophony of loot, for the purposes of my sanity and yours, I'll only be listing the normal-mode version of each item in the list ahead.

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Ret gear in the Throne of Thunder

The Light and How to Swing It Ret gear in the Throne of Thunder
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 Notorious B.I.G. would say, "mo patches, mo gear." Well, I imagine he would have said that if he could have played World of Warcraft.

There's just something about pouring through datamined loot and finding out where it all drops that excites me. In fact, I don't get into the whole "new patch hype" until I look at the gear, and then I'm suddenly hit with the realization that we're getting new bosses, new content, and new items.

Despite how much fun I had in putting this article together, gear lists have proven to be very dry. They have their uses, particularly as bookmark fodder for a quick reference of what drops where, so instead of trying to fluff this post up, I'm going to just lay it all out at once. Before I do that, however, I need to mention a few things.

There are some discrepancies between Wowhead's data and that from the PTR itself. You might notice weird or incorrect tooltips or entries that don't correspond to data on the site or on the test realm. In all cases, I defaulted to the test realm as the final authority on the matter.

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: A review of tier 14 from a tanking perspective

The Light and How to Swing It A review of tier 14 from a tanking perspective
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 the Throne of Thunder echoing in the distance, it will not be much longer before tier 14 is a fading and pleasant memory for many raiders. I think it's a fair assessment to say that this tier has been one of the most successful in WoW's history, at least from an encounter design perspective. An unexpected follow-up from the doldrums of Dragon Soul, the raids of Mogu'shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of Endless Spring have been interesting and (most importantly!) engaging -- especially for tanks.

Remember that in the closing days of Dragon Soul and Cataclysm, there was a general feeling of ennui in the raid tanking community. Between the nullification of threat, the introduction of Vengeance, and the seeming dumbing-down of raid mechanics throughout Cataclysm, the sentiment was that Blizzard had given up on making tanking interesting at anything but the heroic raid level. And even then, by "interesting" it meant you would have to cope with much, much more damage. Obviously, it's human nature to assume that past is prologue and as such many tanks assumed the worst was yet to come.

So imagine the surprise when the mists dispersed and the land of Pandaria revealed an unexpected renaissance for raid tanks.

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Putting the retribution back in retribution

The Light and How to Swing It Putting the retribution back in retribution
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!

Group dynamics are a pretty important part of any multiplayer game, and World of Warcraft is no exception. From dungeons and scenarios, to battlegrounds and raids, and multiple things in-between, learning how to work with other players is an essential part of playing the game. Friendships are made, rivalries ignite, and respect is earned through cooperation and determination.

Of course, these things look great on paper, but we all know that there's a darker side to grouping. People needing on greens, random AFKs, loudmouths, Kingslayer Orkus trying to solo a boss while the rest of the party is elsewhere -- all acts protected by the mechanics of a system that randomly matches players into a group who would never have met before, and will likely never meet again; you will never see a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than the Dungeon Finder.

Personally, I try to be as lenient and forgiving as I can, but everyone has their limits. Eventually you snap, and instead of trying your hardest to uphold the virtues of your order, you fight back. As paladins, our spellbooks come fully-stocked with an assortment of group-based abilities to abuse in situations such as these. Some of these tricks are easy and relatively innocuous, while others are much more complex, requiring precise timing and concentration, but have a much larger payoff.

Disclaimer: This article is satirical in nature. I implore you not to do any of these things anywhere outside of a group full of friends that will find these antics amusing to all parties. Remember, what to you may seem like harmless fun might actually be something that can ruin someone else's day. Please use caution, discretion, and good judgment when goofing around.

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: A not-so-hasty retreat

The Light and How to Swing It 52 roundup for protection
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.

Ghostcrawler created panicked ripples in the tankadin community when he unexpectedly declared on the forums that he had "plans to try and lower the value of haste relative to dodge and parry." I'm sure you, as I, have read over these quotes multiple times, so I won't repeat them all in full for the sake of not wasting the humble electrons shooting through your computer.

Nonetheless, the key takeaway is that he feels the main problem is paladin tanks are prioritizing haste, which wasn't supposed to be a major tanking stat, over dodge and parry. (More on that in a bit.) He foresees that a fix might have to involve a nerf to Shield of the Righteous, the primary beneficiary of our haste; though this would be accompanied by some kind of buff to keep our survivability level.

Likewise, GC is concerned with protection paladins taking haste plate out of the mouths of those specs it was designed for -- DPS death knights and paladins among them -- and thus causing unnecessary friction in a group. And, of course, he's worried that protection paladins might turn their nose at good tanking gear with dodge and parry stats, considering them garbage. (Again, we'll revisit this.)

Thankfully, the crab recognizes that above all, having haste as a tank is fun, and he claims he wants to preserve that. Which is great. So, let's look at this whole crazy mess, and figure out where we are and where this might leave us.

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution and the battle of the bonuses

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!

This PTR cycle of patch 5.2 has been pretty quiet on the retribution front, or so it seemed. The few changes we're seeing are mainly talent-centric: Regardless, I've always been a bit disappointed when we go through a patch unscathed. I suppose one could take it as a sign from the devs that they think ret is doing okay (whether this is true or not seems to be a matter of personal opinion), but it's a tad boring to not see any retribution news in with the list of changes.

Despite this lack of alteration, it seems there's still something we can get excited and/or worried over -- our tier set bonuses. Our tier 15 two-piece bonus, Exorcism putting a debuff on your target that makes it take 6% increased Holy damage from you for 6 seconds, seems to be fairly solid. With Exorcism's cooldown being 15 seconds (reduced by haste through Sanctity of Battle, of course), and Art of War giving us a 20% chance to reset Exorcism's cooldown on autoattacks, this buff should have a pretty high uptime. Personally, I don't really find it particularly appealing, but I don't hate it either. It's a two-piece bonus, it's not the star of the show.

Our four-piece bonus, however, has stolen the limelight and caused quite the stir not only within the ret paladin community, but apparently even at Blizzard as well as the blues ping-ponged between two ideas before finally (albeit momentarily) settling on one.

Read more →

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

5.2 round-up for protection paladins

The Light and How to Swing It 52 roundup for protection
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.

I must admit, while following all the changes of path 5.2 as they trickled out, the one change that got me really, really pumped was the further loosening of transmog rules. In 5.2, a one-handed sword (as just about all our epic weapons are this expansion) can be transmogrified to an axe or a mace. In addition, many weapons from earlier expansions that were designated as mainhand weapons, have been changed one-hand weapons.

Combined, this means that in 5.2, no matter what actual weapon I have, it can look like the Gavel of Unearthed Secrets -- an iconic paladin weapon if I ever saw one. Sure, swords are great (the Crusader's Glory is particularly nice), but when I think of paladins smiting the undead and enforcing the will of the Light, I see them holding a massive hammer in their hands. So I'm excited to return to that motif.

But obviously there's a lot more going on in patch 5.2 than transmogrifying! There is a new tier set with new set bonuses worth digging into, as well as a slew of class changes that are coming down the pike.

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Why retribution DPS is a-okay

The Light and How to Swing It Why retribution DPS is aokay
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!

Towards the tail end of Ulduar and into the beginning of Trial of the Crusader, I was in a guild that had a rogue that would consistently top the DPS charts. I would run so many heroics and PuG raids to get gear, all the while practicing what could laughably be called our "rotation" in retrospect, and I would still fall short. Over time, however, I began to notice that even though I wasn't beating him, I was beating many others. Soon the time came when I was neck-and-neck with him, always biting his heels and waiting for him to allow me an opportunity to beat him, once and for all.

When I eventually did overtake him and saw my character's name on the top of Recount, the feeling was greater than any boss kill. You can't ever see a boss collapse and have the feeling that you did that all by yourself, that you were the sole reason for this victory, because it took a combination of other players, all supporting each other, to see that end result. The DPS race is totally different -- aside from healers keeping you alive (which, if you're properly aware of your surroundings and your threat, shouldn't be an issue) you shoulder the responsibility to push out as much damage as you can. Seeing yourself at the top is a much more personal victory because you can honestly say that you did that, that you pulled yourself up there and truly earned that spot. And from what I understand, this is not a unique experience.

I have talked to quite a few players who have expressed concern over some fairly recent SimulationCraft results that show retribution ranking near the bottom out of all available DPS specs. Even ignoring SimCraft, many more players have expressed concern over their damage output as they compare it to their fellow raiders, guildmates, and random DPSers in LFR. Despite this mounting evidence, I have asserted that retribution is in a nice place -- not great, not OP, but comfortable. Indeed, Ghostcrawler tends to feel the same way. So what's the story here? Why does it seem like everyone and their uncle think ret is doing poorly?

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Talents and glyphs for tanking Terrace of Endless Spring

The Light and How to Swing It Talents and glyphs for tanking Mogu'shan Vaults
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.

Terrace of Endless Spring is a weird conclusion to the joyous majesty of tier 14. We go from one large raid to another large raid, and then the tier caps with chasing a Sha back to his Breakfast Nook of Fear. I suppose, however, you do have to give Blizzard a hand for managing to efficiently cram so many bosses into such a small area. The economy of space in there is very well executed.

Nonetheless, all meta discussion aside, from a tanking perspective, Terrace of the Endless Spring is nothing to write home about compared to the rest of the tier. The fights are okay, but don't really require the same engagement that fights in Mogu'shan Vaults, or even the Heart of Fear, demanded. Regardless, it being the last raid of the tier, the damage is higher and the need to keep yourself on two feet is oh-so-pressing. There are definitely some good tricks in your toolbox that will help keep you vertical and the thus the raid from going pear-shaped. Let's explore them.

Read more →

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Utilizing retribution's utility spells

The Light and How to Swing It Utilizing retributions utility spells
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!

Sometimes it's easy to get yourself on a one-track mindset and put all of your effort and energy into maintaining the best DPS rotation you can to top the charts and kill those bosses dead. I often forget that I'm even playing a hybrid class as I swap around talents and glyphs to squeak out as much damage I can. Thankfully, the designers threw a number of challenges into our latest raid tier, situations where a retribution paladin's utility toolkit can not only shine, but produce truly epic moments and make the player of that classiest of classes feel truly fulfilled.

The last time I talked about utility was back in March, where I tossed some ideas around about how to introduce these spells to the newcomer or, in my case, to the utility-challenged. As with many classes, you're given a plethora of powerful abilities as you level up that work well in a wide variety of encounters, but both keeping track of these abilities and finding the best situations to use them in can be overwhelming. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to flesh out these spells and describe how one can and should use them.

Pretending to be a holy paladin

For the full experience, stare at your raid frames while on /follow with your guild's shadow priest. If you die, blame the shadow priest.

Read more →

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

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
WoW's 10th Anniversary 11/21 - 1/5
Pilgrim's Bounty 11/24 - 12/1
Darkmoon Faire 12/7 - 12/14
Feast of Winter Veil 12/16 - 1/2

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

Mists of Pandaria Screenshots And Concept Art
Mists of Pandaria Screenshots of the Day
Kalimdor in Minecraft
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2012
It came from the Blog: Caroling Carnage
It came from the Blog: Hallow's End 2011
It came from the Blog: Pilgrim's Bounty 2011
Mat's Birthday Wish
WoW Tier 13 Armor Sets

 

Categories