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Posts with tag wow-paladins

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing options for retribution, part deux

The Light and How to Swing It Gearing options for retribution, part deux
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!

I know you all have been waiting for this post with bated breath ever since I unveiled the first half of the list a few weeks ago. "Wonderful," you whispered quietly to yourself as you read that article while snuggled beneath a warm blanket, "now I know where all of the best gear comes from!" Then Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring opened up and you found yourself in a haze, unsure of where you should focus your coin attacks. Well fear not, stalwart reader, for this post is here to save the day!

Okay, so gear lists are kinda boring -- truthfully, they are probably just as boring to read as they are to write. But I'm going to try something with this list in an attempt to forestall the drooping of the eyelids. As embarrassing as it may be, I am going to walk through my own gear and discuss which upgrades will provide the most bang for my elder buck by determining the relative value of each piece using some generated stat weights. My hope is that this process will make it easier for you to pick out the amazing upgrades from the mediocre upgrades and the higher-ilvl downgrades.

It should be noted, of course, that stat weights fluctuate as you accumulate gear, and therefore in reality there is no single set of weights you should always go by. A good practice to get into, if you're looking to maximize your DPS any way possible, is to download SimulationCraft and generate your own weights.

Setting up

Before we jump into the list, here is a link to my gear setup at the time of this writing. Of course, you can always visit my Armory and make fun of me because my sword clashes with the rest of my transmog (I'm too lazy to find a more fitting sword). Anyway, I imported this data into the latest version of SimC and generated some stat weights using default settings and 25,000 iterations.

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution talents and glyphs for The Dread Approach

The Light and How to Swing It Retribution talents and glyphs for The Dread Approach
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!

Mogu'shan Vaults is a visually appealing, mechanically interesting raid instance, and I've had my fair share of fun sticking my neck into the place, but for one reason or another Heart of Fear has been a refreshing change of pace. Of course, I'm sure it will be only a matter of time before I get sick of giant bipedal bugs painting the floor with my innards, but for now I'm just enjoying the ride.

At the time of this writing, the second half of Heart of Fear has yet to be opened in the Raid Finder, and my own guild has been grinding away at Blade Lord Ta'yak, so I admittedly have limited experience of the new raid. What experience I do have, however, has had me thinking and strategizing for different ways to approach these new bosses.

We decided to try out Zor'lok after sitting on Elegon for a few nights, so we were probably a bit undergeared for our first foray into evil bug central, but that made all the tinkering and readjustments all the more fun because they produced tangible results (or, in some circumstances, created new problems).

Anyway, this week I decided to go over what I have learned.

For a full description of these fights and their associated mechanics, check out these raid guides over at Icy Veins.

Imperial Vizier Zor'lok

I have to confess that this is probably my favorite encounter thus far in Mists of Pandaria. Patchwerk-type fights have their place, but for whatever reason I really like fights where it is up to each raider to account for their own survival. Alysrazor in Firelands is another favorite of mine, primarily because of her second phase with the swirling tornadoes – at least, before the speed of the fiery tornadoes was nerfed so hard that dodging them with any sort of run speed boost became harder.

As you can probably guess, my favorite part of this encounter is Attenuation, though it's really how all three separate platform mechanics combine in the end that wins me over.

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

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: Retribution reader mailbag

The Light and How to Swing It Retribution reader mailbag
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!

When my guild first started in Mogu'shan Vaults and we were working on The Stone Guard, I was rapidly approaching what felt like a breaking point. I believe our first combination was Jade, Cobalt, and Jasper Guardians, and I was having trouble managing my rotation and cooldowns while simultaneously dodging mines and trying to wordlessly negotiate with my chained partner which of us would be moving toward the other. I vacillated between rage, frustration, and despondency, wondering if this was an accurate reflection of how the entire tier would go.

Luckily I had some good friends willing to listen to my ranting and incoherent babbling. They managed to eventually convince me to not give up, bite my lip, and give myself some time to get readjusted. I'm still not the best ret paladin in the world, but I'm having a much easier go at working through my abilities and staying out of bad stuff ... most of the time.

Anyway, my inspiration this week came from quite a number of you who had emailed me asking some of the same questions I asked myself at the start of my level 90 activities, most of which can be summed up with a single inquiry: "How can I improve?"

Balance your DPS with your survivability. Most people will correctly tell you that the most important skill you can develop, whether it's for PvP or PvE, is self-preservation. If you die, you can't do any damage; it's as simple as that. However, what use is staying alive if you're spending so much time watching the floor that you're being outclassed by Mr. Grubbs?

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

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Gearing options for ret paladins

The Light and How to Swing It Gearing options for ret paladins WED
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!

Earlier last week I updated my retribution guide for Mists, so if you're still scratching your head wondering what your talents do or why everything and its mother is spitting out holy power then please feel free to give that a look. Part of that update was to plug in the latest stat weights that help us determine, among other things, which pieces of gear we want and which ones we could probably do without. With heroic dungeons and three difficulties of raids available for plundering, as well as Hallow's End fast approaching, this is a great time to figure out which pieces you'll want to set your sights on.

Before we jump into it, however, a quick examination of those aforementioned stat weights shows us that the main stats we're looking, aside from strength, are hit, expertise, and haste. Note that pieces that natively possess hit and expertise are particularly nice because it will make reaching those caps much easier.

Remember that our tier won't reliably drop until Terrace of Endless Spring and Heart of Fear are released, but there is a small chance it will drop from Sha of Anger. Also keep in mind that gear out of Mogu'shan Vaults has raid finder, normal, and heroic equivalents.

I am going to try to squeeze this all into one post, so I hope you'll forgive me if I refrain from my usual snarky one-liners and bad jokes in order to provide useful info like drop locations and item costs.

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

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

The Light and How to Swing It: 4 tips for leveling retribution in Mists

The Light and How to Swing It 4 tips for leveling retribution in Mists
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!

I wanted to get some hands-on experience in the race to level 90 before I wrote this article, so I took a few days off work, stocked up on caffeinated goodies, and bribed Matt Walsh into letting things hit him in the face by promising to shell out a metric ton of bacon-wrapped scallops for his eager consumption. Unfortunately for him he doesn't have a good agent because I neglected to mention that this payment will be made over the next two thousand years. I sure hope neither animal goes extinct before then!

Originally I planned to write this as soon as I was done leveling, but real life intervened and separated me from my precious internet connection for a few days while I moved. I apologize for the delay, and I hope that at least a few of you still find these tips useful!

Questing

Some people prefer to quest their way to the level cap -- I am one of those people. It's a great way to see the sights, get your reputations up, earn some coin, and get a few nice pieces of gear, so why not? Well, before you trigger that loading screen between Azeroth and Pandaria, I have a few pointers to help you get those last five levels.

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

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution after 5.0.4

The Light and How to Swing It Retribution after 504
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!

For me, the most anxiety-inducing change that came with patch 5.0.4 was the prospect that I would have to find a replacement for my beloved RealUI -- the previous author Nib stated that he/she would be unable to continue its maintenance, causing hundreds of minimalistic UI lovers to suddenly cry out in terror. Thankfully these pleas were silenced as someone else offered to take up the reins and pushed out a new revision just in the nick of time.

Before giving an official verdict on any of these changes I wanted to raid a bit to see them in action. Unfortunately I've had to resort to sidelong glances at Dragon Soul as my guild is finishing up T11 metas and mounts for everyone before the expansion closes. I did, however, get to down heroic Ragnaros again for another pretty bird and run a handful of Hour of Twilight heroics, so I did get at least some experience.

Naturally talented

The redesigned talent system feels more like a wider selection of powerful glyphs than any previous iteration of talents that we've seen before. I remember getting to the Bronze Dragonshrine in End Time and someone asked if I could CC one of the dragonkin. I was in the middle of typing out, "I'm not specced into Repentance, sorry :(" (complete with sad smiley face so they knew I was truly sorry) when I realized that I could just open my talents, unlearn Burden of Guilt and pick up Repentance in like 10 seconds flat. Similarly, on a quick jaunt through heroic Firelands we arrived at Alysrazor without much of a plan for slowing down the meteor when I remembered I could unlearn Repentance and pick up Burden.

Of course, being this flexible comes at a price, and that price is straight cash. As I struggle not to finish that Randy Moss quote, think about whether you agree with the gold requirement for changing talents. On one hand, it's a pretty effective gold sink as anytime anyone wants to change a talent they will need to pay a nominal fee. On the other hand it seems a bit outdated to hold on to one reagent when tossing out most others. We can save that discussion for another time, though.

I have to admit, tier 5 for me is usually between Holy Avenger and Divine Purpose. Sanctified Wrath just isn't producing comparable numbers in sims and it doesn't really have its own niche in which to excel.

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

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

The Light and How to Swing It: Customizing your ret paladin in Mists

The Light and How to Swing It Customizing your ret paladin in Mists WED
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!

Last week I unveiled my retribution guide for the upcoming launch of Mists of Pandaria. I covered an exhausting number of topics, but I found that a couple items might be better as a separate post -- races and professions.

For anyone starting a new paladin in Mists after hearing how awesome it is on the beta, or for anyone looking to change your races or professions, this article is for you. Let's dive right in, shall we?

Choose the right race

Generally, my advice for selecting which race you want your paladin to be is to pick one you will be able to watch running around and hitting things. If you don't like the look of your character, you probably won't like playing it regardless of how awesome the class or spec may be.

With that out of the way, there are some really good DPS options out there if you're a member of the Alliance. And if you're Horde -- well, at least you can look good.

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

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