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Posts with tag paladin-protection-the-light-and-how-to-swing-it

The Light and How to Swing It: Leveling from 85-90 as a tank

The Light and How to Swing It The prot paladin 504 survival guide 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.

With the change to Vengeance in Mists of Pandaria, a tank's solo damage has just about cratered compared to previous expansions. Gone is the heyday of Wrath when we could kill things on our own, one on one, without our six o'clock shadows coming in. Here again are the unhappy days of The Burning Crusade, where there was plenty of time for a bathroom break between the engagement of an enemy and its much-subsequent demise.

I expect many tanks will be switching to their retribution offspecs to speed up the onerous process of leveling. Yet, for those brave few who refuse to take the easy way out and enjoy the long, possibly rewarding slog that is wading shin-deep in molasses -- excuse me, I mean leveling as a tank -- I sing your praises (in a "Here's to you, Mr. Leveling as Prot for old time's sake when it's taking three times as long" kind of way). It might not be the fastest or most efficient path, but for those who choose to take it, let's talk about how to make the process as painless as possible.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Post-patch 5.0.4 round-up for tankadins

The Light and How to Swing It The prot paladin 504 survival guide 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.

Finally the pre-release patch has come and we're in that exciting interregnum time between the tired, old content and the piping-hot new stuff. There were a lot of changes made to the protection spec and, on the whole, I really think Blizzard nailed it. Yet, there are still a lot of growing pains, as with any pre-release patch, and today I'm going to talk about ways to mitigate that so you can finish out Cataclysm at the top of your game and totally ready for everything Pandaria has in store.

How it feels

Active mitigation is definitely a huge playstyle change -- cataclysmic, even. In the past, all we did was stand there and let our defensive stats do the work for us, and throw in a cooldown things got hairy. Now our survivability depends on us being on top of our game, landing our attacks, and managing our buffs more intently.

If this seems overwhelming, it really shouldn't.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: The prot paladin 5.0.4 survival guide

The Light and How to Swing It The prot paladin 504 survival guide 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.

Here we are, less than a week away from the pre-release patch of Mists of Pandaria, that moment before the expansion finally drops and we actually have something to do in WoW once again. It's an exciting time -- and, for sure, kind of a scary time in that change is always a little bit disconcerting. Like starting in high school for the first time, there's little comfort in having to navigate newly incognita terra.

The pre-release patch dropping on Tuesday marks a new hill for us to conquer. Everything is changing, from our talents to our glyphs to our rotations to (at the most basic level) how we keep ourselves alive. In order to hit the ground running and be able to tank just as well (or hell, better!) than you were under the 4.x rules set, it's critical to make sure you know everything you need to know about the upcoming patch and do everything you can do in advance.

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Mists of Pandaria: Guide to protection paladins

Mists of Pandaria Guide to 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.

As August begins, we are rapidly approaching the end of beta. Blizzard has indicated they are in the final stages of tuning for Mists of Pandaria, and with that comes the confidence to report on what we can reasonably expect our spec to look and perform like in the next expansion.

Mists will be a pretty monumental expansion for us. We have some massive playstyle changes coming, as well as the game-changing new talent systems. Active mitigation, as well, will require prot paladins to adjust to a new style of tanking.

This guide is intended to be a 101 introduction to the prot paladin as it stands in Mists of Pandaria. It'll cover everything from how to handle active mitigation and your rotation to how to spec, how to gem and enchant your gear, and everything in between. As we get closer to launch (and even after then), I'll continue to update it, so be sure to bookmark and check back in the future.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Where tankadins stand in Mists

The Light and How to Swing It A look at the changes so far coming in Mists
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 time ,we talked about the basics of what paladin tanks are going to be working with when Mists launch. What we didn't talk about was the remainder -- whether it be how certain mechanics feel or how we're shaping up with regards to the other tanks classes and the content itself.

The TL;DR version is that we look to be in a pretty good place overall. Our rotation is miles ahead of our current Cataclysm rotation in terms of quality of life, and on the opposite side of the planet from that drinking bird practice regimen known as the 969 rotation in Wrath. There's a little more to play with and balance in our toolbox these days, thanks to the pick-'n-mix of the new talents system, which is definitely a good thing if variety and engagement is your bread and butter.

In terms of actual gameplay balance with regard to the game and the other philistines competing for our jerbs, we're in a decent place as well. That is, we're no longer in the Wild West days of Wrath, where patch cycles saw one tank class after another get brokenly good (except warriors, womp womp). The general trend of Cataclysm continues -- keeping the balance to a reasonable level among the classes -- though when it comes to the highest levels of the hardest content, the disparities start to emerge with gusto.

Anyway, that's the 50,000-mile view. Let's get down in the mud and talk turkey.

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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 changes so far coming in Mists

The Light and How to Swing It A look at the changes so far coming in Mists
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 seems like we're in the closing stretch of the beta cycle, and we have a fairly clear picture of how we're going to be tanking in the next expansion. There are some amazing changes and some disheartening ones. Nonetheless, they are the cards we are being dealt, and it behooves us to flip up that corner and peek at what we have so we can make informed decisions in advance, before anything can sneak up on us.

There's a lot to go over, so I'm just going to jump right in.

Active mitigation

While this was initially sold to be a much bigger deal, it's still going to make a difference in how we tank. In addition to doing damage, Shield of the Righteous now reduces physical damage taken by 30% for 3 seconds and applies the Bastion of Glory effect. Bastion of Glory in turn buffs Word of Glory by 10%, and the effect can stack up to five times.

Shield of the Righteous is now only usable at 3 holy power, so it's more than ever a finisher. You'll want to use as often as possible -- which shouldn't be too hard, since the ability is off the global cooldown and can be woven in between other abilities. Our survivability (thanks to Bastion of Glory) will be heavily tied in to how we use Shield of the Righteous.

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The Light and How to Swing It: The shrinking paladin toolbox

The Light and How to Swing It The shrinking paladin toolbox
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 there's one thing in WoW that's a major sticking point at the start of every expansion, it's the constant change in each class's abilities at launch. We all know the pain: Some abilities come in, some are changed to a whole different creature, and others just fade away. People hate the idea of having to relearn their class, for sure, but most of all what I hate is the idea of losing some old friends to the march of time.

We all fondly remember one ability or another from auld lang syne in WoW. The game feels a slight bit emptier without it, though you'll cope, because there's really no way to turn back the clock. Once an ability hits the chopping block, it seldom comes back. (Unless it's Blinding Light -- that one definitely got a second chance.)

Let's talk about a few of the amazing paladin abilities that were tossed out on the heap, as well as what's currently getting its head jammed in the guillotine.

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The Light and How to Swing It: 4 necessary elements of a successful tank UI

The Light and How to Swing It Four necessary elements of a successful tank UI
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 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

When it comes to a custom UI, information is king. Sure, there are ancillary benefits, like the pursuit of a pretty user interface, or a minimalistic one, or (be still, my beating heart) both. But when you get down to the real meat and potatoes of building a UI, the most successful are the ones that are most effective at presenting information to the player in an efficient and useful manner.

And of course, many players are perfectly happy with the stock UI, which is totally fine if that's your cup of tea. For many others, myself included, the preference is for a custom viewport into Azeroth that can distill everything at your disposal into a package that can be quickly digested by the brain, as well as all sorts of bells, whistles, and dinglehoppers that make for a more aesthetically pleasing interface. Because that's half the fun.

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Hero Moments: What it means to be a tank

The Light and How to Swing It Hero monents, what it means to be a tank FRI
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 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

When thinking about the biggest perks to being a tank, I keep getting stuck on the intangibles. It's much like the reasons why Indiana Jones would rob old men in yachts of their jewelry: fortune and glory. Well, perhaps more the glory -- fortune is awfully tangible.

But yes, glory. Glory is a powerful drug. For a tank, the thankless job that it is, glory can be all the fuel needed to keep going, to keep chugging along while various DPS players sip their piña colodas and sling insults at you from the safety of their deck chairs for not tanking to their exacting specifications.

And what better glory is there than those moments when it's you versus the world and all the odds are arrayed against you? Whether it's a moment when the entire raid has kicked the bucket, and it all falls to you to see the boss take his own fall, or (like a digital Leonidas) you hold off a boss for as long as possible so the rest of your comrades can flee past the reset point without accumulating a repair bill -- those moments of personal glory pop up from time to time.

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The Light and How to Swing It: The framework for our Mists rotation

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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 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

The biggest change for players with every expansion is undeniably getting acclimated to the new and different buttons that one has to work with, ie, the new rotation. If you poll players on their least favorite part of the next phase of the game rolling over, invariably a large percent will shout how annoyed they are with "having to relearn their class." Some abilities which were juggernauts are suddenly akin to balloons with the air rushing out of them, others that were middle of the road also-rans are suddenly hot tickets. Getting to the point where you once again have a good sense of your class is often a pain.

While the beta is far from final, and the numbers are (of course) subject to change many times over, we're still at a point where we can begin to make some sense out of the design-equivalent of watching sausage being made. We won't know be able to say with 100% conviction which fillers are best when and where, but we can assuredly say what the framework of the rotation will be.

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The Light and How to Swing It: c paladin run

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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 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

I still remember the unmitigated joy I felt, sitting in my crummy seat far off to the left of the main stage at BlizzCon 2011, as Blizzard began to go into the new talent system for Mists of Pandaria and a screenshot of the paladin tree was shown. Sitting at the top of the new tree was a tier of familiar names: Speed of Light, Long Arm of the Law, Pursuit of Justice -- all the names of the various speed enhancements that the class currently had. Sweet fancy Moses, it was a tier of "gap closers"!

I slap some scare quotes on the phrase gap closer because, despite that being my holy grail for the past two years, let's be honest -- the new talents aren't technically gap closers. They don't have the immediacy of a Charge or a Death Grip. But they're as close as we're going to get without some homogenized Divine Charge, and to a point, they will help us close a gap. They're acceptable substitutions, each with its own positives and negatives.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Latest beta build shakes things up for prot

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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 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

There are good beta builds, and there are bad beta builds, and then there are bad, bad beta builds. Build 15640, which went up this week, is a textbook example of the latter -- specifically with regard to how it handles our active mitigation. Considering that active mitigation (AM) is the most important change prot paladins are receiving going into the next expansion, the quality of a build hinges on how it handles this topic.

Needless to say, the next few builds are always going to include some new iteration of Shield of the Righteous, as the class design team works out the kinks and attempts to cobble together an effective version of the ability.

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The Light and How to Swing It: Beta's delicate balancing act

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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 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Ah, beta -- a time for people to begin jostling and shouting for their favorite specs and classes to receive buffs and improvements, for deficiencies both real and imagined. While the warriors are most assuredly off demanding a free sandwich or whatever slight they're currently obsessed with, let's talk about our biggest concerns going into the next expansion.

Most of these concerns, you can imagine, deal with our balance relative to the other tanks, as well as how some of our mechanics will scale as the expansion continues. And let's not forget that Mists will mark the introduction of active mitigation, and thus it is exceedingly critical for Blizzard to get that right.

Suffice it to say, there's a lot on the line for prot paladins during this beta.

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The Light and How to Swing It: First look at protection in Mists beta

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 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Last week, we talked about the first tantalizing drip, drip, drips of information that were emitted in the Mists of Pandaria press tour that occurred, as well as the various media appearances that surrounded that event. Then, suddenly -- beta. So here we are, somewhere between the ecstasy of exploring a new world of ubiquitous wind chimes and rotund, alcoholic bear-men, and the agony of the occasional and painful glance at the beta invitation status on our account page.

Nonetheless, at least we can live vicariously through the goings-on of beta players while we wistfully watch from afar. There's a lot of information coming out of beta, from datamining to the experiences of those lucky jerks already inside, and so we have lots to talk about. Let's dig in and make sense of all the changes that'll be waiting for us when the next expansion hits (thus far!). Also, please note, I'm avoiding anything that we've already learned in the past run-up -- including changes to block, the new and various talents, and previously revealed abilities like Boundless Conviction.

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The Light and How to Swing It: A week of tantalizing Mists information

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 24 other people, obsessing over his hair (a blood elf racial!), and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

News hit Wednesday night that Mists beta was beginning to slowly open, capping a week that saw a deluge of new, juicy details from the next expansion. There wasn't much directly said about protection paladins in the press tour, though some tidbits got out that make for some interesting discussion. Moreover, with the launch of the beta client, datamining has begun; as a result, we already have a preliminary list of new glyphs -- which was also backed up during Blizzard's earlier presentation.

Glyphs 3.0

In Cataclysm, glyphs got a major numerical boost through the addition of prime glyphs, which were just straight buffs to various skills rather than tweaks like the major glyphs. As a result, they were easily mathed out to determine the best choice for each situation, which you likely saw listed in any class guide produced during Cataclysm's life cycle. This was pretty boring, as Blizzard saw it, and as such, the whole prime glyph system was chucked out of the game.

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