Posts Tagged ‘guide-to-paladins’

by Matt Walsh

 

Last time, we talked about what you needed to know to prepare for the dawning of the Hour of Twilight. Now let’s talk about what shiny new purples you can expect to rip from the still-warm carcasses that will lie in your wake as your cut a swath through the new content.

Our itemization goals haven’t changed since 4.2. Mastery is still king, and threat stats are still to be avoided. In the list below, I didn’t list the gear in any particular order, so don’t expect the top choice to be the best. Indeed, the best piece will depend on how much mastery you have and thus how close you are to block cap.

Generally, the rule of thumb to follow when trying to decide what pieces are best is that mastery/avoidance pieces provide the most combat table coverage (and thus the most survivability), followed by mastery/threat pieces (with the threat stat reforged to avoidance), followed by avoidance/avoidance pieces, followed by avoidance/threat pieces. If a piece doesn’t have mastery and you’re seeking the One Stat to Rule Them All, reforge the higher number to mastery — even if it’s dodge or parry.

As always, I recommend using my CTC calculator spreadsheet (I really can’t pimp that enough) to properly evaluate each piece in relation to your current load-out and to confirm that an upgrade is most certainly an upgrade.
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by Dan Desmond

 

Before we begin talking about upgrades in Dragon Soul, we need to discuss the three separate tiers of raid gear available in patch 4.3. Thanks to the introduction of the Raid Finder, a lower tier of the same gear that drops from normal and heroic Dragon Soul is readily available to those who queue for it. This lower tier is of ilevel 384, the same level gear that drops from Ragnaros on normal difficulty. If you had done any heroic Firelands raiding and got some gear, you will find that the Raid Finder tier is seven ilevels behind that gear.

For most pieces, you will want to upgrade as normal (from 378 to 384, for example). For tier gear, however, it appears that the new two-piece T13 set bonus overpowers the itemization difference between heroic T12 and Raid Finder gear, at least for now. If you’re available to do additional testing, I’m sure the theorycrafters at the Elitist Jerks retribution thread would adore you for contributing. For the time being, I would pick up some lower-ilevel tier and test it out while still holding onto your heroic T12. Remember, four-piece T13 is our ultimate goal here, so don’t skimp on those loot rolls.
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by Chase Christian

 

The itemization team at Blizzard has been especially stingy when it comes to holy paladin drops in Dragon Soul. While there were hundreds of items added in patch 4.3, very few of them are ideal for holy paladins. We’re used to this sort of treatment though, as we’re the only special snowflake spec that requires its own set of gear. No other class wants to wear intellect plate, and there’s nothing more frustrating for a raid group than seeing the same plate healing gloves drop every single week. A few character slots have a limited number of items available, but there’s an upgrade for every single piece of gear you have today.

Between blacksmiths, the valor points vendor, and Dragon Soul bosses, there are still plenty of gear for us to lust after. There are also new epic gems available from the Dragon Soul bosses that we can adorn our gear with, making us more powerful than ever. Our overall gearing strategy hasn’t changed much since the last patch, although mastery rating is a bit better due to the new design of Holy Radiance. I am favoring spirit as the best secondary stat, with haste close behind. Critical strike rating and mastery rating are a toss-up; you can pick your favorite.
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by Matt Walsh

 

Patch 4.3 is upon us, and the Hour of Twilight has come. Once more, it falls to us rugged men and women of plate-covered action to strap on our Bulwarks of Azzinoth (because, seriously, what other shield would you transmogrify to?) and march into the fray. Deathwing’s assault on Azeroth is coming to a head, and to make sure we’re ready for the challenges beyond, we need to be as prepared as possible.

4.3 is a pretty tame patch when it comes to class changes — no nerfs or buffs galore … my kind of patch. Nonetheless, there are three key things you need to know about the patch to bring your absolute best to the table. Let’s dig in.
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by Dan Desmond

 

This new series of heroics runs akin to the Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, and Halls of Reflection trio of Wrath in that you must complete them in a specific order. In the interest of fitting all of these encounters in one post, I will need to truncate a lot of descriptions and irrelevant details.
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by Chase Christian

 

With patch 4.3 looming on the horizon, holy paladins need to be prepared for all of the changes that are headed our way. Both of our AoE healing options have been significantly altered, along with several of the talents and glyphs that support these abilities. Retribution paladins are also looking forward to a few buffs to their sustained DPS, but their ability to help with AoE healing is being greatly reduced.

Our core mana regeneration mechanic is about to be completely scrapped. In fact, if we continue using Judgement without making any adjustments, we’ll actually have less mana in patch 4.3 than we do today. We’ve been healing with holy power for nearly a year now, but many of the habits we’ve picked up along the way will need to change.
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by Chase Christian

 

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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by Dan Desmond

 

Since we’re approaching what should be the final content patch before Mists of Pandaria, now would be a good time to discuss secondary stats. We saw in Wrath that things like haste and crit got out of control near the end of the expansion; a mage in my guild longs for the days when he could get his crit up past some absurd number and make fire “good again.”

I don’t have the heart to tell him that no amount of crit will ever make him good — but I digress.

Let’s take a look at those stats on our gear other than King Strength and how they work together to give us some big numbers.
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by Chase Christian

 

Holy paladins are blessed with a robust selection of cooldown abilities, which improve our performance for a short period of time. Other classes like the restoration shaman have far fewer options for increasing their healing output on demand, which makes holy paladins one of the most flexible healing classes. In addition to boosting our single-target throughput, our cooldowns can also vitalize our AOE healing and reduce incoming damage.

When faced with such a large number of cooldown options, it can be difficult to pick the right ability for the job. Each of our cooldowns works in a unique way, with different strengths and weaknesses. By choosing the right opportunities to use each of our cooldowns, we can maximize our healing and minimize the chance of someone dying. Because of how powerful our cooldowns are, you should be using them on every boss encounter. They become especially important on heroic fights, as our healing capacities will be put to the test.
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by Matt Walsh

 

So you’ve slain the minions and lieutenants of the Firelord and cast down Ragnaros himself, as well. The heroic versions of all seven bosses are now open to you, each with varying degrees of difficulty, starting with the walk-in-the-park Shannox to the much more dangerous remnants. These fights require you to step up your tanking game to a whole new level to survive everything the fights throw at you.

In this column I’m going to start with the first three easiest heroic fights: Shannox, Majordomo Staghelm, and Alysrazor. I’ll give you tips and tricks on proper cooldown usage, glyph load-outs, and trinket choices to maximize your performance against each so that you can stand up long enough for the raid to topple each.
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