A Bears' Eye View on Paladins

Recently, I’ve been spending some time developing my level 80 Paladin towards a dual spec of Retribution and Protection.

Along the way, I’ve made some observations that I wanted to share with you. For Paladins, these will come as no surprise. For Bears, this might bring you to a closer appreciation of your class.

Gearing a Protection Paladin for heroics, to be blunt, sucks.

If you do research, then you are told, up front, that it don’t matter how great any of the rest of your gear is, if you don’t hit 535 Defense for heroics, or 540 for raiding, then you are still crittable, and you suck.

Well, have fun getting there with quest rewards, because to reach that goal, you need gems. Big, fat expensive +Defense Rating gems. And guess what quest rewards mostly don’t have on them?

Sockets.

Best bet is to run as a different spec, like Ret, while someone else tanks, and you pick up heroic drops with sockets along the way.

Well, great. So what we’re really saying is, if you want to tank as a Paladin in heroics, someone else has to tank for you first. Blech.

Oh, there are certainly crafted items, but good lord….

For Bear tanks, all you do is make sure you’re fully specced in the talent Survival of the Fittest. You throw any old feral agility/stam gear on from leveling as a kitty, and boom, automatically uncrittable. Is your gear optimized for tanking? Of course not. Will it be perfectly feasible for tanking with a decent team? Yes, absolutely. No special stat requirements of any kind. If you’ve got gem slots or enchants, go with Agility or Stamina. There, done.

My hats are off to the Paladin tanks out there. God, did you get screwed.

I’m sure Warriors and Death Knights are in similar positions, but I don’t play either, so I never had it rubbed in my face before.

Another difference, is Paladins have tons of abilities, each having a special situational use. I’ve tried to get them all on my button bars layed out in fancy formats, and holy crap, that’s a lot of confusing shit. Practise of course improves reaction time in using just the right thing for the right situation, but when you’re tanking a pug of crazy people that attack anything that moves, it’s amazing watching the mobs run past you thinking, “Which shiny button among these dozens of buttons do I press?”

Bears, on the other hand, have single target Growl, and Challenging Roar. And if the target is being passively pulled from healing threat, ranged Feral Faerie Fire, or a good old Feral Charge.

Okay, not a good example, Bears do have lots of situational tools as well. I just know in my gut how to use ’em. Nevermind.

Anyway, I’ve been working on improving my Paladin as best I can in the hopes of doing some tanking and making a laughing stock of myself. After dinging 80 just barely a week ago, I’ve finally managed to get a set of gear that hit 540+ Defense.

It took spending a ton of money and time crafting gear, buying gems (or having them donated by a friend), and the complete and utter destruction of Icecrown in pursuit of a quest chain that led to my getting a main hand tanking weapon. A weapon that, of course, was immediately replaced by the Argent Tournament axe. /sigh.

I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the sources I found for information that made it possible for me to have any kind of tanking plan at all.

First, Honor’s Code.

Seriously, my single most referred to website during all of my researches was Honor’s Code. I may not have followed his suggestions and advice slavishly, because he is thinking towards raiding success and I just wanted to do the best as a 5 person group tank in heroics as I could, but for Paladin Tanking thoughtfulness, suggestions and resources, this is simply the awesomesauce.

In particular, not only is Honor’s Code excellent in his analysis, but he also presents information in a fashion that should be the standard for blogs that want to help out new players of a class wondering where the hell to start. I know that I’m going to use his style of Protadin 101 sticky as the basis for a new one on my site, because it did indeed give me one hell of a solid place to start from.

Second is Pink Raid Frames, for helping me understand some of the whys and wherefores, and making Protadin sound so much fun! The description and video Pink Raid Frames put together really helped me visualize the 969 rotation in a way that made it easy for me to learn what each ability did, and arange them so that I used them not only in the proper cooldown-efficient fashion, but also knew how to change up order of activation depending on what I most needed at the time, such as a Consecrate to hold threat instead of a Judgment at a critical initial moment of a pull.

Pink Raid Frames looks to be taking a break since Blizzcon… why does this always happen when I start grooving on the awesomeness of a blog?

Third would have to be Maintankadin… but not really in general, more the work of Petrus in particular. Petrus is a genius. I love his cut and dried ranking posts, sometimes you just want to know, no bullshit, what are my options? And damn, does he have an answer.

Petrus’ Gear List, even though it hasn’t been updated for a while, gives a solid place to look for what you could get and from where, and for the newer stuff, well, you should be able to look at the stats on what you’re curous about from Atlasloot or MMO Champion, and compare them to things on his list, and figure out where it would fall from there.

And his Gem and Enchant list… well, that’s just damn spiffy.

What I’ve ended up with, in the most general terms to start out, is the following setup for turning on tanking when switching from Retribution spec to Prot;

  1. Activate Devotion Aura
  2. Seal of Corruption (Blood Elf)
  3. Righteous Fury
  4. Blessing of Sanctuary
  5. Use Divine Aura at all times when off cooldown, work it into the rotation.

I setup the button bar for the 969 rotation, with the two ‘6″ second cooldowns on the left, Hammer of the Righteous (whack primary target plus 3 extra) and Shield of Righteousness (whack your main target with your shield). Needless to say, I generally pick Hammer for group threat first if I pulled a bunch of mobs.

Setup the button bar with the three “9” second cooldowns on the right. Holy Shield to provide boosted Block (and my first actual activated ability in the 969 sequence), and to deal Holy Damage per block while there are charges up, Judgment of Light or Mana depending on group, and Consecration for AoE threat.

The biggest thing, as I said, was knowing what to use, and when.

There are, as I said, tons of other situational abilities, but I’m slowly getting on top of them.

My biggest concern right now is mana. I stop and drink all the time, and I’ve run out of mana on long fights more than a few times.

So, how’s it been going?

Well, let me put it this way.

Last night, I main tanked my first ever heroic instance. It was also my first ever main tanked regular instance.

I main tanked Heroic Trial of Champions.

We had no issues until the last Black Knight phase, when three of the party died on the last phase from the damn AoE deathbolts from the ghostform. We still won, we just had three dead on the floor.

At the end, I felt wrung out. Usually, Bear tanking leaves me bouncing around and happy to go grab another tail to tweak. Tanking on my Paladin left me wanting a margarita and a nap.

Oh, and of course, I’d JUST equipped the crafted Titanium Earthguard Chain and put an epic gem in it, and lo and behold what should drop that I win but The Warlords Depravity.

Noth that I’m complaining, you understand. But still. That was an expensive upgrade, and I didn’t even get a chance to wear out that “New Upgrade” smell from the upholstery.

Wanna see the face of evil tankitude?

Protadinbear

Ain’t he a handsome cuss?

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46 thoughts on “A Bears' Eye View on Paladins

  1. The blue crafted gear should be dirt cheap these days. Just make sure you buy the mats yourself and find a BS to make them for you. Probably no more than 20 gold for each item. As somebody said, the real problem isn’t so much getting the defense initially, as the starter gear has huge amounts of it, as much as maintaining it as you get those first pieces. Of course, eventually you have so much defense it isn’t a problem any more.

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  2. Wow…. Bear,

    That was a lot of info…… I believe that all Tanks other then Bears…..lol….. Have it hard and DK have the worst. Look…. I have a level 80 warrior that was prot…. I even off tanked kara back in the day……. Pallys and Warriors have some help with badges. They can get some very nice gear with both block rating, and block Value plus extra stam, Strength, and Armor from their Shields…….. OOOOMG DK can’t use a shield….. That stinks….. As a DK I need both Dodge and Parry….. However I see a lot of stuff with Block Rating or Block value…. You as a bear don’t need to think of that and with a Pally the trinket that dropped in H-TOC last night would have been great for your pally Tank. ….. Lotsssss of Block….. Yaaaaa for the warrior & Pally…… that stinks for the DK…… They have tanking gear for a Warrior that includes Strength, Def., Block rating, block value, stam, and armor. And for pallys more Int, some spell power and MP5 plus all the other stuff that a warrior has too. This is not including all the extra stuff that you can get as well as add to a shield. I know what you’re going to say…. as a DK I can dual wield……. Allllll-righty then….. Not if I would like to stay alive…… A DW DK can cause a boss to attack him 50% faster when he miss, dodge or even parry him…. and remember that the off- hand of a DK evening in frost spec can still miss 50% of the time…. that’s lots of stress for the healer and group…. Sorry for the rant…..I just felt the need to defend my DK brothers out there in the Big Bear Blog world and show them some SD Love….lol… thank you for the time bear …. 😉

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  3. @ dallanna:

    i wasn’t talking about nerfs, but about the pain in gearing for heroics, that is gearing for the def cap.

    i’m expressing sympathy with that awkward time when you have to either shell out a fortune on crafted gear, or do a lot of long chains and pre-heroic instances in order to get the gear you need to tank heroics, while dps and healers can just waltz in without nearly as much worry. i did this with my warrior when he was my only above-50 toon, having hit 70 the day before the xpac hit. i’m sure any prot paladin (particularly when that is the main you are finishing leveling and not so totally awash in cash from higher toons that you can just buy or craft anything you need) goes through the same experience of gathering enough gear in order to play the game you want to play.

    as to the warrior/notwarrior tanking debates on the forums, i could care a flying fish. i don’t raid and don’t have to deal with the possibly real possibly imagined “they benched me for the flavor of the month tank!” drama. i can care less about which tank is preforming better in raids at any given time, and i don’t have any ill will to anyone who might be at the bottom. would i like more AoE threat? yes. at very least, thunderclap should be a 2x crit instead of a 1.5, and i’d love to see a shorter cooldown for shockwave (a glyph to take off 4 seconds and remove the stun? yes please!). would i like to do a little more damage? yes. i’m jealous of the fact that every other tank at my gear level does probably 50% more damage, but that barely matters, just it’d be nice, is all. do i begrudge any other tanks their toys and strengths? no. well… i wish non-tank DK would stop deathgripping stuff, but that isn’t the point.

    i hope the Righteous Fury nerf isn’t too bad and you still have the threat you need to get things done, that a 30 second cooldown on your stun is sufficient for your stunning needs, and I hope the Touched by the Light change doesn’t hurt your threat much (that said, i’ll agree that it was a needed pvp balance change. prot healers could throw significantly bigger heals than holy in full pvp healing gear and there should be some sort of tradeoff besides casting speed in order to gain the offensive and defensive utility of deep prot as a healer).

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  4. Perhaps the easiest thing to do would have been to do a quest in Zul’Drak that rewards a tanking main hand? Its an easy quest, very few (if any pre-requisties) and reward would have lasted until you got a heroic weapon?
    http://www.wowhead.com/?quest=12857
    You could have picked that up at 75 instead of tearing Icecrown apart

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  5. I have a mid level pala tank, so am totally not an expert on protpallies, but I think you don’t need a macro for righteous defense anymore.

    quoting from wowwiki:
    As of 2.4, Righteous Defense can also be cast on an enemy mob, much like the Warrior’s Taunt ability. Its behavior when used in this way seems to be much like its behavior if cast on a party member. If the enemy that is taunted is attacking another player, 2 more enemies that may be attacking that player will also be taunted.

    The current tooltip on the spell doesn’t tell you this, which makes it a bit confusing. But it does work: mob runs of with his friends to naughty mage, I tab-target mob, hit righteous defense and mob plus friends suddenly have a healthy urge to beat the bejesus out of me instead of the naughty mage. Very nifty ability; combined with consecration I even have fun in the nightmare called “tanking a vanilla instance with a pug”.

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  6. One note, remember that you can use Elixer of Mighty Defense http://www.wowhead.com/?item=44328, which gets you about 9 defense skill at 80. I found it was easier to stack stam, then drink one of these to hit 535 until I was geared. Didn’t really have any problems, but I did stick to the easier Heroics to start (UK, VH, etc).

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  7. We did fine running heroics in quest blues when we first hit 80, and trounced through every single one with ease. They haven’t got any harder.

    Exactly !
    ❤ to all those LF DPS (min. 2400 DPS) in the Tradechannel.
    … getting a bit OT.

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  8. Wow..I came to read a druid blog, that turned out (today) to be about Pally tanking…and to my surprise, find a new trick that I wasn’t aware of! I had no idea that divine plea refreshed itself, all this time I’ve been using it little if at all because it didn’t seem that useful. You just never know when/where you’re gonna learn something new. Thanks for the info, guys!

    Great post by the way.

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  9. Hey Triple B glad to see your having fun with your paladin. i offspecc’d pro quite aways back and tank as a hobby. it took me awhile to gather good gear. mainly from peeps not wanting or having the tank gear that dropped. so i gathered purples and blues pretty fast. and that was with someone else tanking =) i learned to use sanc blessing for mana( get a % back for dodge an parry i believe) as well as SA. it is rather fun to tank as a pally but i still love bursting peeps down as ret, hehe. anyways i enjoy your blogs and look forward to some more. grats on 80 and welcome to the paladin community.

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  10. Errr, didn’t you rawrbear tank in TBC too? We had to defcap back then just like the pallies, warriors, and DK’s.

    Thing is, though…. for heroics, being defense capped is only significant if you’ve got an equally poorly geared healer. A even moderately well geared healer (naxx-25ish) and it doesn’t matter if you take the odd crit while tanking, because healing heroics is so silly easy.

    Random pugging, yeah, you wanna be capped or else someone will freak out (OMG! You’ll get crit 1% of the time?! Unacceptable! You couldn’t possibly tank this!) … don’t get me started on the absurd “gear check” BS that goes into heroic pugs. We did fine running heroics in quest blues when we first hit 80, and trounced through every single one with ease. They haven’t got any harder.

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  11. For anyone reading this who’s still out trying to gear up a newbie tank, @Stafford is correct with the two guides:

    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f97/41986-cider-s-easy-540-defense-gear-guide.html
    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f97/40966-polar-s-easy-pre-naxx-tank-gear-list.html

    I was one of the first 80 tanks on my server, 20.5k health and 541 defense and I couldn’t have done it without those two guides. At the gear level they give you it is HARD to tank heroics (I felt all but bloody useless doing H:UP with 24k health buffed!), but you’ll get there!

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  12. Hi BBB

    I posted a while ago about aplly sites, so many thansk for your blog today – both for its own helpful hints AND for the links it recommended. You may be horde, but your are still a nice bear…

    Incidentally, why does the horde druid kitty look like the outcome of some obscene cross-species mating? Like a panther and a cow got together… shudder

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  13. Get that defense trinket from normal HoL. Get that other def trinket from 10 man Thadd. Enjoy your new breathing room! Maybe don’t use both… Maybe stay like you are and get the two 170 stam trinkets from Brewfest!!! Maybe.. nevermind.

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  14. I forgot to mention in my question about Hunters & traps that I also have a Lvl 16 Tauren Druid which is why I’m reading your blog from top to bottom – so much to learn – so little time! ;->

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  15. Ok… I’m Kayeri’s PallyTank HubbyPerson…

    When in doubt, round ’em up and Puff!

    I tend to open with Hammer of the Righteous… the trick though is to get those trigger happy DPS types to wait long enough to let the tick happen on your puff.

    Anyway, now I don’t feel so bad about that time you were gloating over us plate wearing tank types over repair bills!!!

    Welcome to the club!

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  16. The defence issue was the reason I was happy to see that they were considering giving all tanks a SotF talent with Cataclysm. I have a bear, a paladin and a death knight, so I appreciated how much easier it was for a bear to start out with. Past the starting out, I won’t go into – but it would be nice if plate tanks could worry more about whether they wanted to go towards higher health pool, or straight avoidance stats without having to juggle defence caps.

    On an entirely different note: I love that shield model…

    /hug
    .-= Aurik´s last blog ..Brewfest Achievements – 2009 =-.

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  17. @thebitterfig

    No, warriors don’t get to complain about tanking nerfs. Why? Because paladin tanking is only a relatively new thing, (no thanks to warriors shouting down any and every other class that wanted to tank back in Vanilla) and it’s getting nerfed in the patch that’s out today. So, no.

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  18. I am new (3 mos) WOW player & have 2 elf hunters – one on each faction. Can you recommend a good Hunter skills blog (I see that I just missed Big Red Kitty, although I am scanning the archived blogs)? I especially need to learn trapping skills and other things that will help when I get big enough to go on bigger dungeons and, eventually, raids.

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  19. Bear –

    Been reading your blog forever. Keep up the good work.

    I learned to tank on my druid but now tank only on my paladin. For what its worth, below are a few tips that i’ve picked up along the way, in no particular order:

    – Taunting – you have 2 stock, out of the box… but one of them is a PITA to use. You can improve it greatly by using a macro.
    Righteous defense allows you to come to the aid of a party member but from a tanking perspective, thats not as helpful as it could be. From the tanking point of view, when you see a mob break off and run towards the rest of the party and its up to you to figure out WHO is topping threat on that particular mob…. there often is not enough time. With the following macro, you simply click-target the offending mob and fire off the macro…. it will figure out who the aggro-magnet party member is and taunt the mob – and others as well – who are charging away from you. makes it simple and gives you 2 usable taunts… one for single target and one for multiple.

    #showtooltip
    /cast [help] Righteous Defense; [target=targettarget] Righteous Defense

    – Mana – As someone else pointed out further up, you build mana when you avoid damage. Want more mana? Avoid more damage! That means pull more mobs at a time. Good use of cooldowns, good heals & 2 points in Spiritual Attunement will keep you alive and topped off. Keep up Divine Plea and judge wisdom if you need to. Mana should NOT be a big deal in 5 man instances for the most part – and never an issue on boss fights.

    – Threat – for your runofthemill mob pull in a 5-man heroic instance, i have the same pull every time. run in, throwing your shield when you get into range… drop a consecrate when you reach the mob pack… run a few more steps through them and turn to face them… throw Hammer of the Righteous to begin your 969 rotation. after that, it doesn’t much matter what order you use your spells, you own the mob pack. Avoid any additional consecrations unless you really need them…. they use a TON of mana and are largely unnecessary after that 1st one is dropped.

    – Cooldowns – Liberal use of Sacred Shield is a good idea and if nothing else, its a visual cue that lets your healer know that you are thinking of them ;). Divine Protection at the right time is a HUGE help to heals that are struggling trying to keep you and the raid alive during heavy damage

    Thanks again for all the good reading material over the years. Your blog is one i check on consistently and i appreciate the effort… even if you did roll a horde BE for cryin in the sink…. /sigh

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  20. Is a very purdy shield ya gots there.

    Now what you’s got yer defense up, the next fun is staying above the cap. Dang near every epic has less defense then what the crafted blue it replaces do.

    Not enough mana means not enough heals. Find ways to take more damage (bigger pulls, different aura, no bubbling), and it’ll work out. Ya can also drop a few consecrates from the rotation once ya got enough threat. I know, is heresy, but I’s a proc-driven gun-slingin’ warrior tank. What I care fer rules?
    .-= Ratshag´s last blog ..Personal Grooming Is Important To Paladins =-.

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  21. Gearing a Protection Paladin for heroics, to be blunt, sucks.

    Well, have fun getting there with quest rewards, because to reach that goal, you need gems. Big, fat expensive +Defense Rating gems. And guess what quest rewards mostly don’t have on them?

    Oh, there are certainly crafted items, but good lord….

    Seriously? Are you kidding me? http://chardev.org/?template=263885
    Its trivial! Look there are completely EMPTY slots there and that toon’s at the heroics defense cap! NO epic gems, that’s only crafted items and a level 70 quest you can solo in about 15 minutes.
    Here’s the gear:
    Full crafted tempered saronite
    Head enchant – rep’s easy to get before you hit 80 if you quest for that rep as you level.
    Crafted blue JC necklace
    Chest and shield +def enchants
    BS socket for the belt and *3* only 3 rare not even epic gems…and two of them are only 8 defense b/c of the 4 def socket bonus!
    A crafted green ring.
    And the only 2 actually expensive things, crafted epic shield and ring.

    That’s it…fill in with the best available gear in other slots, enchant properly and you can tank heroics. I know because I was tanking heroics in essentially that set of gear the Monday after Wrath released.

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  22. Gratz on your first tanking gig! Now go find another pally and chain pull raids and make the whole room glow yellow! Now that the nerf hammer just hit us, it will be interesting to see how well we do. I guess I’ll find out when i get home.
    .-= klaki´s last blog ..A Second Wind =-.

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  23. Nice. Congrats. Yeah, the pressure to hit the defense cap is on DKs too. I don’t know if it’s exactly the same for Pallys (I’ve never tanked with one) or Warriors (I only tanked through about level 60ish), but DKs should hit the def cap before stepping in to tank a heroic. Honestly, as the DK tank, I never noticed the Defense made much difference . . . I just went in and did what tanks do. However, having healed tanks that lacked sufficient avoidance . . . well, I guess I don’t know it was lack of defense that made the difference, but tanks who put in the effort to hit the defense cap have been easier for me to heal.

    I got to 535-540 def with my DK before running any heroics. I had four sockets: goggles, a ring, leggings and the belt buckle. I had three crafted pieces of gear: the engineering goggles I made myself, a Titanium Earthguard Ring my brother made for me (with mats I gave him) and a Tempered Saronite Belt I bought off the AH. Everything else was normal instance drops, and easy to reach (Honored) rep rewards. Still it didn’t quite get me to the cap. I mean, I could have grabbed some inferior mid-70s crafted items to reach it. But I choose to take some level 78-80 better items that left me a few points shy of the cap and make up the difference with enchants and the Elixir of Mighty Defense.

    It takes some research to find out where to find good items with enough defense, and some effort to try and get them, but it is possible to hit level 80, equip a few new pieces of gear and walk in to tank your first heroic right away.

    Does the effort required suck? I didn’t mind. It gave me a goal.

    But yeah, getting a “tanking set” for my bear has been comparatively mindless. “Stam? Agi? GTG. Ooo . . . that one has dodge. Bonus!”

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  24. It is possible to tank heroics with 19k health and 510 defense. My daughter did it easily enough the day she dinged 80 in a group of mostly uncommon and rare geared players. We ran three easy heroics, Utguarde Keep, The Nexus, and The Violet Hold without a single wipe despite her being critted a number of times. She held aggro easily enough and mana was never a major problem, not surprising considering the group had retribution paladin, shadow priest, survival hunter, and restoration.

    We did apply liberal doses of frost traps, repentance, scare beast, and hibernate to reduce incoming damage per second but I am not convinced it was necessary.

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  25. Turn off devotion aura, use retribution aura instead. This means you generate more threat and also get more heals which equals more mana. The slight (less than 2k) armor bonus from devotion aura doesnt help you survive much and if you are talented into the 6% healing buff, it doesn’t stack with a druid:( As for tank gear, ToC reg and heroic makes gearing up almost ANY toon easy, I geared my dk from 1k dps to 2.6 just from toc and htoc gear.

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  26. If you’re having trouble hitting 535/540 that’s what the Daunting/Tempered Saronite gear is for. Never gem for defense unless you pretty much have to. Like never, ever, ever. The only time I gem for defense is to get just a point or two, or if the stamina socket bonus is respectable (+9 or more). If you’re only doing heroics/naxx you can get away without stacking straight stam. Anything Uld and beyond you’re putting blue gems in every socket you can.

    For dropping consecrate initially instead of judgment, that’s situational. Only in enormous packs would you use consecrate before anything else (unless you pre-emptively drop it before you pull). In smallish packs of 3 or 4 Avenging Shield is plenty to get threat on you, and Hammer of the Righteous is your next best bet. Consecration doesn’t cause threat until it ticks. That can be a crucial moment.

    Do your Coren dailies and get the stam trinket from that. I’m using it now, and I’m pushing 50k health (raid buffed) 😀
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Show #343: FUJIYAMASAMA. =-.

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  27. Welcome to paladin tanking! A few minor comments…

    “Use Divine Aura at all times when off cooldown, work it into the rotation.”

    Do you mean Divine Plea? Divine Plea refreshes itself for Prot (thanks to a talent) when you hit things, so just fire it up as you are running in and it should renew itself for all of that fight. The main annoyance is when you fight a second pack less than a minute after the first, but more than 15 seconds after you finish the first pack. Oops, there goes your Divine Plea! Also annoying is when you forget to put it up at the start, and completely forget until the low mana warning comes up on the screen. I carry a stack of mana potions around for this contingency.

    “Seal of Corruption”

    Since 3.2, you should be using Seal of Corruption for Ret, too. Blizzard made life easier for paladins, hooray! It is still a pain having to activate a bunch of abilities when you switch over. When I first started out, I had a written checklist that I would consult before I pulled. Even now, I sometimes forget to turn on RF when switching, which is really bad. At least RF doesn’t expire any more, and automatically falls off when you switch specs.

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  28. Don’t know from pallies as my tank is a Death Knight (shields are for wimps ;-D). But as a tank that needs to def cap it sounds like you skipped the evil grind that is the Seal of the Pantheon. I have killed Loken more than any other normal boss farming that 65def bad boy. I just recently retired it as I upgraded gear. I can say though knowing which button to tap when is the essence of tanking and until you practice it a lot your pally tank will be a pain in the (big bear) butt.

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  29. “For Bear tanks, all you do is make sure you’re fully specced in the talent Survival of the Fittest. […] There, done.

    My hats are off to the Paladin tanks out there. God, did you get screwed.”

    QFT. same for warriors, too, just as you guess.

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  30. Thats how I felt on my pally too Bear. Except she was a blacksmith, so I crafted the Tempered Helm and Boots, and the Shieldwall. It made a huge difference. The extra sockets from blacksmithing, and the JC only gems were essential to getting defense capped. And even though I was def capped, I was still at somehting like 24k hp, so yeah, it was a challenge. I think the faction stuff was an ok choice, but having a patient and friendly guild helped soo much. Grats on the neck, and double grats on completing H TOC. good work.

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  31. I hit 80 not that long ago after levelling Ret, so I have been in exactly that place before. Luckily I am a BS so the sockets helped – if you were to look at my armory MOST of my gems are sadly + def for now until better gear comes my way.

    I just found this nugget, if you aren’t picky. There is a 3-quest line in Netherstorm that is EASILY soloable as an 80 pally that rewards
    a trinket with +30 defense. Blackheart the Inciter, 2nd boss in Shadow Labs also drops
    and Terrok drops .

    Of course, if you go after Corben Direbrew you are likely to replace those both in a day or two, but they are nice if you need the +def.

    Also, I usually reserve Divine Aura until I need it, i.e. am about to tear into a bunch of mobs, like the converted heroes for the argent daily. Otherwise, save it.

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  32. I’ve found Pally tanking muuuuch easier than Bear tanking for two reasons:

    1) Bear tanking I lose group aggro so easily with our big hitters, I haven’t had any trouble with my pally even with mains on a Reg. Gundrak run while I’m lvl 76.

    2) Using Grid and Clique I can easily cast Righteous Defense on anyone who actually gets aggro every 15 seconds. For some reason I’m no good at clicking a mob and taunting them off.

    Might also help that I’ve leveled my pally as prot and my druid was a balance resto hybrid.

    If you’re having mana issues (I was for a while as well, and I assume if you know about 969 you’re keeping divine plea up) I’d suggest moving some talent points around for Benediction, has helped me out a lot.

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  33. Welcome to the club. Pally tanking is fun and has traveled light years from where it used to be. Mana issues in 5 mans can sometimes depend on what type of healer you have. When I run with priests healing me I ask them to leave the shield at home. I need to get heals. Divine Plea Blessing of Sanctuary and After the first 969 judging wisdom also helps, epically in Boss encounters that have multiple phases.

    Once ya get the gear for the caps def, hit, expertise get the glyph that boost expertise with vengance/corruption. You too sir can be a rock star Paladin always remembering the kill order goes like this. “Ok everyone kill order is this….this room ,next room then boss room.

    LOL

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  34. Amusingly enough, I took my Paladin from Ret to Prot. Of course, I have a nice selection of “off spec” gear from Ulduar25 and HToC. Amazing the difference when starting to tank straight at 80 and starting to tank with 30k HPs and 90% avoidance. 🙂

    After tanking on a Warrior, Paladin, and Druid – I can honestly say I prefer Paladin (though Druid is still VASTLY more fun than Warrior). It’s “EZ MOAD”, but I think that’s what I like about it. When I’m raid healing I barely have a chance to see what’s going on beyond Grid and the fire under my feet. So it’s OK for me to take the easy side of tanking. 🙂

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  35. Mana issues? Just make sure Divine Plea is always up and judge Wis. That usually does it for me. Don’t feel bad about peeps dying in ToC – sounds like the healer’s fault lol. But yeah, gearing up a tankadin for me was 85% research and 10% gold. The rest came from finding Def trinkets. Sounds like you are having fun, though. Having come from the tankadin side of things, I think bear is a little simpler as far as a rotation. On the other hand though, pally’s are brainless when it comes to AoE threat. Even on the off chance that a healer/dps pulls aggro, you have two taunts at your disposal. And don’t forget about all your hand spells – freedom/protection are great for helping out the healers when they pull aggro. And learn to love bubble wall! It sounds like you are having fun…

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  36. Long time reader, first time commenter: The Mana comes with natural avoidence, such as Dodge and Parry. The more gear you get the better it becomes (As long as you have Blessing of Sanctuary up)

    On my Prot pally I used SoW and JoW until I had the natural regen from BoS that I did not have to worry about them. I still use JoW but run Corruption as my seal now.

    Have fun out there.

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