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Torndragon
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Joined: 13 Oct 2009
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re: Protection Paladin (Level 85)

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Protection Paladin

Stat Priority

Mastery is probably our most important stat – whilst Stamina is also nice, we’re no longer in WoTLK, and high HP totals aren’t everything. After Mastery, Dodge and Parry should be roughly equal and are the second most important stats.

If you’re having threat problems, which is unlikely, Hit and Expertise to cap (aim for 8% hit and 26 Expertise) are our best threat stats.

Attack Rotation

Single-target tanking

The optimal threat generation approach for a Protection Paladin on a single target is usually the “939” rotation, so called because it consists of alternating a single 3-second-cooldown ability with various 9-second-cooldown abilities. The “3” is our Holy Power generator, Crusader Strike, and the “9“s are the other filler abilities.

A solid tanking rotation is thus: Crusader Strike – Avenger’s Shield – Crusader Strike – Judgement – Crusader Strike – Shield of the Righteous – Crusader Strike – Holy Wrath – Crusader Strike – Judgement and so on. in the “9” slot, use Shield of the Righteous if you have 3 Holy power, and otherwise Avenger’s Shield, Hammer of Wrath, Judgement or Holy Wrath in that order.

Once you have a solid threat lead established (you ARE using a threat meter, right?) you’ll want to swap every other Shield of the Righteous out for a Word of Glory to help your healers out.

Multi-target tanking

A slightly different rotation here: Hammer of the Righteous is our Holy Power generator, and Inquisition replaces Shield of the Righteous. You should also get Inquisition running as soon as possible, ideally before the pull (see below).

Assuming you have Inquisition running already, your rotation becomes Hammer of the Righeous – Avenger’s Shield – Hammer of the Righteous – Judgement – Hammer of the Righteous – Inquisition – Hammer of the Righteous and so on. The other “filler” abilities are the same as above – Avenger’s Shield, Hammer of Wrath, Judgement, Holy Wrath in that order. If you’re sure you won’t run out of mana, you can also use Consecration.

Again, once you have a solid threat lead, you can start weaving Word of Glory in too.

Buffs: Remember to keep your Seal of Truth up, check you have Righteous Fury, make sure you’re running the appropriate Aura (usually Devotion) and bless the raid with Blessing of Might or Blessing of Kings as appropriate.

The Pull: Divine Plea, on a two-minute cooldown, will give you full Holy Power. This is VERY useful for establishing a solid threat lead – pop it before a pull if you can. Avenger’s Shield is an excellent pulling tool – it won’t hit CC’ed targets, meaning it’s particularly good in dungeons or trash pulls. A very solid dungeon pull: Divine Plea – Inquisition – Avenger’s Shield – Hammer of the Righteous and into your rotation.

Cooldowns: It’s probably better to use cooldowns one at a time rather than using them all at once – that way, you’ve always got an “Oh, crap!” button available. However, if your healer just died and there’s 5% of the boss’s health left, feel free to pop the lot at once. Remember that Lay On Hands shares a partial cooldown with Divine Protection (Forbearance), so it’s best not to use that immediately. Holy Shield and Divine Protection have small enough cooldowns that you can use them in virtually every fight. Save Argent Defender for “argh, I’m about to die” moments, and Guardian of Ancient Kings for when you know you’re going to take a kicking – it’s our most powerful cooldown aside from Lay On Hands. And remember to cast Lay On Hands, Hand of Protection, and Hand of Salvation on other people – the latter two will really save over-eager DPSers’ bacon. Finally, use Divine Guardian when the group or raid is going to take a lot of damage, or as directed by your raid leader.



Gems

Everything With Mastery, please. If a single non-Yellow socket can give you +20 to Mastery, Dodge or Parry, use a combination gem – Puissant Dream Emerald for Blue sockets, and Fine Ember Topaz for Red sockets. Otherwise, use Fractured Amberjewel. You’ll also need at least 3 Blue gems to activate your meta gem, Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond, so choose the least bad blue slots there.

Enchants

Head
Arcanum of the Earthen Ring

Shoulders
Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz

Back
Enchant Cloak – Protection

Chest
Enchant Chest – Greater Stamina

Wrist
Enchant Bracer – Dodge

Hands
Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery

Belt
Ebonsteel Belt Buckle

Legs
Drakehide Leg Armor

Feet
Enchant Boots – Mastery

Weapon
Enchant Weapon – Windwalk

Shield
Enchant Shield – Mastery

Reforge

Reforge everything you possibly can to Mastery, threat stats first. After that, reforge to Parry or Dodge unless you are having threat problems. Reforge Haste and Crit first, then Hit and Expertise, then Parry and Dodge to Mastery only.

Glyphs

Prime: Seal of Truth, Shield of the Righeous, and Hammer of the Righeous. If you’re not having threat problems at all, substitute Word of Glory for Shield of the Righteous. If the fight’s purely single-target and you need more threat or DPS, swap in Crusader Strike rather than Hammer of the Righteous.

Major: Glyph of Holy Wrath, and two others of your preference. Glyph of Focussed Shield is superb for single-target fights, but a disadvantage for multi-target – remove it for those fights. Glyph of Divine Protection is very useful for magic-heavy fights, but SHOULD NOT be in at all times.

Minor: Whatever you want
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