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Posts with tag Hand-of-Sacrifice

The Light and How to Swing It: Putting our Hands to work

paladin bubble
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

If healers were defined by their heals, then holy paladins would be the strong, silent type. Our roster of healing spells has always been meek. The three-heal model of Cataclysm and the introduction of our holy power heals definitely increased our selection, but we have nowhere near the healing spell diversity of a priest or druid. We're only now receiving a true AOE heal in patch 4.3 with Holy Radiance's redesign.

Rather than leaning on a variety of healing options, holy paladins like to keep it simple. We're able to compensate for our undiversified healing tool box by drawing on our numerous other abilities. We might not have as many healing spells as the other guys, but we certainly have more utility spells than they could ever dream of. Our "Hand of" spells allow us to go further than any other healer can.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Protection and retribution builds in 4.0.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at

Hi. I've got a quick thing to report on before we get to the meat of the article. If you were tanking those first couple days of patch 4.0.1 and you seemed to be taking extra damage, almost as if you weren't crit-immune, there is a reason for that. There was a bug that made us vulnerable to crits in 4.0.1. It should be fixed now, but I received a couple emails about it from people who were extremely concerned about their survivability. Try things again and see if you're still having issues.

We really need to talk about talent builds. I know we're a week after the patch at this point, but due to how much we've changed throughout the course of the beta, I've developed an innate fear of committing to talent builds. Part of this comes from having had talents moved between trees each build. Other parts of this come from seeing talents keep the same name yet be completely changed as far as what they do. I really wanted the patch to drop before doing this, because I didn't trust Blizzard to keep things the same from the PTR/beta build to the live build. However, that is in the past. Let's look toward the future.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Bringing utility in Cataclysm

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and soon, an entire flight of black dragons. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at

Sorry, the above graphic really has nothing to do with today's column, but I wanted to feature more of the new built-in "power auras" that Blizzard added to the game.

As for today's message, I know the following is going to raise some red flags for those long-time paladins out there, but don't freak out. I'm going to ask that you start stepping up and bringing a bit more utility.

Relax, I didn't mean it in a vanilla or BC sort of way when you were sometimes just brought for certain buffs and nothing to do with your damage, tanking or healing. I mean it in a real sense that we do have some utility available to us in addition to everything else that we do, much the same way that hunters' traps bring utility to their class.

The coming expansion is going to be harder than we're used to. We've been just nuking things for so long that a lot of our utility abilities have slowly worked their way off of our toolbars, or we're getting new abilities in the expansion to fill roles we haven't had before.

Let's take a look at what we're going to be expected to start doing once the Cataclysm gets into full swing.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Keeping the tank alive

Every Sunday, Chase Christian of The Light and How to Swing It invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. This week, we examine how to handle situations where the tank is getting destroyed, and we're tasked with keeping them alive.

Tank death
. It's one of the worst ways for a raid encounter to end: abrupt and usually absolute. In a dungeon, you've typically only got one guy who can take a few blows, and so the enemy will start cleaving your soft DPS. Blizzard balances each raid encounter around the idea of having two tanks, so the other tank is often busy with their own duties, and can't survive the double duty. With this era of multiple enrage timers and tight DPS requirements, there's really no room for bringing a spare tank for the 'just in case' situation.

Holy paladins are uniquely designed to be the masters of tank healing. We've got multiple cooldowns we can use to reduce their incoming damage, and the most potent HPS toolkit available. A tank has to actually try to die when we've got the Holy Light firehose aimed at them. However, even with all these abilities at our disposal, a tank can still eat dirt halfway through an encounter if we're not playing our best. Read on for a discussion on how to keep your tank up during high damage situations.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Divine Sacrifice

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown. This week we're going to talk about trying to not take one for the team.

While some of you might be looking at the skill in the title and not know what I'm talking about, we paladins have a nice little talented ability known as Divine Sacrifice. A lot of holy and protection paladins should already know about this cursed little gem. Depending on your spec setup, you might even be aware of it as a retribution paladin. If you're not familiar with the skill, it's sitting on the left in the third tier of the protection tree. Go look, I'll wait.

For those of you that didn't go over to look, it is essentially a raid-wide version of Hand of Sacrifice and often nicknamed the "raid-wall" for its shield-wall-esque capabilities. It allows the casting paladin to take 30% of the damage from every person in the party or the raid for 10 seconds. Luckily, it can be used in combination with Divine Shield so you don't instantly die from all of that incoming damage. Currently, it's a fairly dangerous little skill. With it you can either be savior or martyr of your raid group depending on how you use it.

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

[UPDATED] Patch 3.1 PTR build 9658 Paladin changes

So the new PTR build dropped, and it doesn't look very pretty for Holy Paladins. Before we get into the grim side of things, it looks like Aura Mastery has been made baseline. Does this mean a new talent will be popping up in the Holy tree? That seems likely, but don't bet on it yet. Now on to the bad stuff...


Sacred Shield - Cannot be on more than one target at any one time.
Ouch. So much for raid damage mitigation. Back to single target healing, the lot of you!

Infusion of Light - No longer has a chance to reduce the casting time of Holy Light, but increases the the critical chance of your next Holy Light by 10/20% instead. Moved to Tier 10.
Double ouch. This seems to be a PvP nerf to me, and others are crying out the same on the forums. Without addressing it directly, Ghostcrawler states that "several of those changes were made for PvE reasons". He was, of course, referring to Sacred Shield, considering that one of Blizzard's concerns was the increasing number of mitigation abilities going into Ulduar. Losing half-a-second Holy Lights will be severely palpable to Holy Paladins in Arenas.

[UPDATE: With Aura Mastery's old effect made baseline, the new activated ability talent is all kinds of awesome - Now makes anyone affected by Concentration Aura to be immune to Interrupt and Silence mechanics and increases the effectiveness of all other auras by 100%. Lasts 10 sec. 2 min cooldown.
This is a fantastic ability that compensates a little for the other nerfs. Because it is a party or raid-wide buff, this is extremely powerful -- imagine the improved versions of Retribution Aura and Devotion Aura working at 200%. This makes Paladin synergy simply too good. The 2 minute cooldown is about right for PvP, although a 12 second duration might have been more appropriate. It's an excellent talent on paper, I can't wait to see in practice.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion

Are Paladins going to get nerfed?

There's a cloud of gloom hanging over our collective Paladin heads over here at WoW Insider, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that Divine Plea still works. Even with the 50% healing penalty, Divine Plea is still a critical spell that's used without much of a second thought. Now it's just used a tiny, tiny bit less. Of course, Ghostcrawler also mentioned in his explanation of the new mana regeneration changes that they're going to nerf Spiritual Attunement for "non-tanking Paladins," too. So yes, there's that cloud.

Here's the thing, though... that change will hurt Retribution Paladins more than it will Holy Paladins. Retribution Paladins rely on the synergy of Spiritual Attunement and Seal of Blood / of the Martyr in addition to Judgements of the Wise, Replenishment, and Divine Plea. We'll probably have to see exactly what the incoming nerf looks like before we panic, but considering how Paladins have a history of getting beaten by the nerf bat, it's not an altogether rosy proposition. In fact, I think Paladins are probably going to get nerfed beyond the current Divine Plea and the future Spiritual Attunement. My thoughts after the jump.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Arena

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladin 3.0

It's pretty exciting, isn't it? Patch 3.0 is coming, well, "soon™" according to Blizzard. Considering that our favorite class hasn't gotten a second pass, it might be a bit premature to talk about Paladin changes when the pre-Wrath patch finally hits. That said, it looks like more than a few new talents will make it at least into the PTRs more or less intact. Hopefully and changes we'll see during our second pass will be tweaks to numbers and some mechanics refinements but hopefully no major changes.

Assuming that most of the changes push through, we should expect a completely different Paladin in the coming months. Even without taking the new talents into account, there are baseline changes that should make gameplay technically different. The most significant change, of course, is in the way Judgements work. This is the one change that will take some getting used to. First of all, there are now three Judgements and they activate the GCD. This means no more macros for Seals and Judgements, which is actually fine because of two things: first, Judgements no longer consume Seals; second, Seals now last for a micromanagement-light two minutes.

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Filed under: Paladin, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It, Wrath of the Lich King

[Updated] Wrath Beta patch notes: Paladin part I

Faith has been rewarded. The Paladin changes have finally been revealed in the Wrath of the Lich King beta patch notes, and from a quick review of things... I'm just blown away. It appears as though Blizzard really seems to be on top of its game and isn't afraid to shake things up in order to get things right. Paladins are getting major changes to key abilities, and all of them seem like direct responses to grievances that have been aired in the past.

The talent trees are being moved around yet again (remember when Blessing of Kings used to be the 31-point Retribution talent?), but this time the changes seem to make more sense. There are major overhauls to some talents and abilities, as well as a removal of others. The changes are geared towards streamlining the trees and abilities, Blizzard remorselessly paring down the unnecessary and consolidating what needs to be rolled together. A list of the changes and my analysis after the jump.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Wrath of the Lich King

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