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.
We're still a ways away from Mists of Pandaria
and certainly months away from the beta, but nonetheless, everyone's eyes are firmly affixed on the horizon that is the next expansion. Dragon Soul will drag on into the near future, and so around the umpteenth time one has defeated Deathwing, one cannot help but daydream of a brighter future of new landscapes, new enemies, and a revamping of one's favorite spec.
Tanks in particular have much to look forward to with Mists of Pandaria
5.0. We're due for a major reconstruction of our playstyle through active mitigation. Cataclysm
proved eponymous with regard to how it changed tanking during its lifespan (some would rightfully argue that it was not entirely for the better). The hope is that MoP
will be equally shattering but in a much more positive way. Where Cataclysm
in many ways simplified tanking and made it less interesting, hungry eyes gaze upon the next expansion in the hope that it will reverse this course.
Myself, I have three wishes for Mists of Pandaria
. Each would make tanking once again more compelling and far more interesting.
A new, more interesting rotation
In the Cataclysm
beta, for a time, Crusader Strike
was on a 4.5-second cooldown, which has the side effect of leaving gaps in the rotation. Beta testers raged against this, complaining that the gaps made the protection paladin rotation a snore, as well as hugely frustrating when you had nothing to fill a GCD with. Rather than fixing the issue by lowering the cooldowns on various filler attacks, the devs lowered the cooldown of Crusader Strike to 3 seconds.
This eliminated the gaps but at the cost of making the rotation horribly rigid. At least in Wrath's
969 rotation -- widely accepted as the most boring tank rotation in the game -- you weren't constantly hitting the same button every other GCD. The new rotation, snarkily dubbed 939, was in some ways a step forward, in other ways a step back.