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Posts with tag paladin-protection-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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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

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.

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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.

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

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.

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

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.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Talents and glyphs for tanking Heart of Fear

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.

You know those awful kids in your neighborhood who, on a hot summer's day, would find an ant hill and roast the little suckers inside with their grandmother's magnifying glass, or push rocks and sticks in the hole in an attempt to starve the inhabitants? That's how raiding the Heart of Fear feels for me sometime. It's a hive of six-legged-pants-wetting terror and we're just adding onto the troubles of those poor insects. It's a little cruel, really -- kicking them when they're down.

Incidentally, you know what class that awful kid grew up to play? A warrior; it's a fact of behavioral science. (OK, probably a rogue. But I have to get my shots in.)

Anyway, when it comes to demolishing your way through piles and piles of exoskeleton-clad fanatics and extremists, sworn to protect the only female they have ever known, you'll need every tool and trick at your disposal. Much like in Mogu'shan Vaults, this expansion's iteration of talents and glyphs gives us a wide amount of latitude in how we approach a fight, and can provide some decisive advantages. Let's talk about how!

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Thank the Light, encounters are interesting to tank again

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.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a column bemoaning the current state of tanking in Cataclysm and specifically how terribly boring the encounters were to tank. It was a common complaint throughout Firelands that only got worse in the doldrums of Dragon Soul. The majority of fights in those two raids were soul-suckingly droll when it came to tanking them, and the most pessimistic of us saw the repetition of the boring tank encounter model in DS as a terrifying new trend in encounter design.

Combine that with the recent removal of threat and you had some serious tank ennui. I closed out the column with a similar sentiment and down-cast eyes as Mists loomed ahead. The prevailing fear was that the trend would continue and fights would get easier and more boring to tank with every successive raid tier.

However, 11 months and an expansion later, I'm happy to report that the trend that I and many others had feared was arrested in this first burst of raid content. In Mists of Pandaria, especially in Mogu'shan Vaults, the game took a huge leap forward with regards to making encounters that are not only interesting to tank, but all fun and engaging as well.

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

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.

My brawny colleague Dan Desmond covered this topic for his two-handed cohort earlier this week, but I think it's also worth exploring for all the tankadins out there. Namely, what talents and glyphs can be utilized to make tanking the first raid of tier 14 a little easier?

Sure the new hotness is Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring (and I'll get to those!), but I expect that the vast majority of players are still actively working on clearing Mogu'shan Vaults, or are slogging through it weekly in LFR for precious, precious VP. Even if you've been doing this place ad nauseam for the last few weeks, there are always little tweaks that can be made to get the job done faster with less damage taken!

For reference, these are the base talents and glyphs I go with. So any suggestions I make will be what deviates from those. Especially with regards to Glyph of the Battle Healer, you should make sure to have that up at all times and should be actively tanking with Seal of Insight. It can make a noticeable difference in your survivability, and can pay some dividends for the survivability of your melee colleagues.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Getting better control of your active mitigation

The Light and How to Swing It Getting better control of your active mitigation
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 I wrote about the control gearing strategy, though only briefly touched on one of the major cornerstones of that approach: a control-focused rotation. With such a rotation you can squeeze every drop of active mitigation survivability out of the accompanying gear design, and as a result you'll be much less squishy than if you were depending on passive mitigation to carry the day for you.

When first starting out with tanking in this expansion (be you a brand new tankadin, one returning from a long hiatus, or even just a bit rusty), a sense of how to optimally perform the rotation may seem just out of reach. It takes practice, for sure, to hammer down in your muscle memory and reflex pathways the priority of your abilities, so you know just which attack to use at any given moment.

For all the oxygen devoted to proper gearing, in the end, the single greatest boost you can give to your survivability is to perform your active mitigation properly. Let's talk about how.

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Filed under: Paladin

The Light and How to Swing It: "Control" and the new tank gearing paradigm

The Light and How to Swing It Control and the new tank gearing paradigm 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.

I admit, I'm a bit of a jerk to have dropped the bomb that I did in my last column, regarding the new gearing paradigm described by Theck recently. It really is a huge shift for us and how we choose to gear ourselves, and I admit it is disconcerting at first glance. However, I assure you, it's based on solid theorycrafting and will allow you to tune your damage profile to something that will not only make your job easier, but your healers' as well.

Why so much hit and expertise?

So, as I explained in the last column, your gearing priorities will be the hit and hard (yes, hard) expertise cap, then focus on either haste or mastery, depending on taste (more on that ahead). Your dump/reforge-from stats will, sadly, be avoidance.

With regards to hit and expertise, the reason you want the maximum of both is due to the workings of our active mitigation system. In order to generate holy power, we need to hit things. Crusader Strike and Judgment must all connect to allow us to stack the good stuff (Avenger's Shield procs just need to be cast to build holy power). And thus, the more steady and guaranteed our holy power generation (HPG) is, the more reliably we can hit Shield of the Righteous and get its buff up.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Pre-raid gearing for tankadins

The Light and How to Swing Preraid gearing for tankadins
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 was a fairly painless five levels that brought you to the top of the food chain in Pandaria, and, as the expression goes, now you can play the game. If you're officially leaping on the gear treadmill and getting ready for raiding, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Thankfully there is a lot to do, and easily available sources of gearing, so the task isn't particularly onerous. Before you know it, you'll be geared and ready to tank anything the sha toss at you.

Briefly, what kind of gear do you want?

I don't want to delve too deeply into this, because it's a whole 'nother column's worth of exposition, but when it comes to gearing I strongly recommend grabbing pieces that will emphasize a control style of tanking. That is, anything that boosts our active mitigation by making our holy power generator abilities hit, hit more often, and our active mitigation more powerful.

Specifically we're talking about first gearing to cap hit and hard cap expertise (yes, hard cap). Then go for haste and mastery in equal amounts. Reforge out of any avoidance you have to achieve these goals. As such, you'll want to go for gear which has hit, expertise, haste, and mastery -- and if you're lucky, avoid anything with dodge or parry (or worse, dodge and parry).

For the gritty details behind the "control" strategy, I strongly recommend this blog post by Theck. Now, that said, let's get down to brass tacks!

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

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