Guide to Cataclysm Protection Paladin PVP (Videos)


This guide discusses Prot Pally PVP in the Cataclysm (Cata) expansion, Patch 4.0.6. This guide provides comprehensive written material and narrated PVP videos.

Please post your feedback, tips, and questions!

Revision History

The first version of this Guide was posted on Oct 14 2010. It has been through many revisions since then; here is the change log for recent revisions:

  • 2011 Mar 05: updated 4.1 notes
  • 2011 Feb 28: added links to comments that document previous Patch changes (4.0.3a, 4.0.6). Added my take on 4.1 changes
  • 2011 Feb 24: added note re: glyphing SoT for Expertise
  • 2011 Feb 22: added more notes on Resil
  • 2011 Feb 12: rewrote heal macros for clarity (and hopefully so that they work more consistently)
  • 2011 Feb 11: mass update for 4.0.6

Table of Contents

  1. Mechanics Overview
  2. Resource Mechanics
  3. Burst and Sustained Damage Mechanics
  4. Healing Mechanics
  5. Bubble and Mitigation Mechanics
  6. Crowd Control Mechanics
  7. Seal Mechanics
  8. Team Support Mechanics
  9. Recommended Talents and Glyphs
  10. Stats / Enchants / Gems / Gear Recommendations
  11. General PVP Tips and Tactics
  12. Macros
  13. UI / Addons / Power Auras
  14. Recent Patch Changes
  15. Narrated PVP Videos
  16. About the Author

1. Mechanics Overview

The good news is that Prot is a viable PVP spec :)

Prot is a good fit for you if:

  • You want to be a melee, and
  • You want to be durable, and
  • You want to have the capability of generating solid burst damage, and
  • You want to have tools to support groups and spot-heal

Here is a brief summary of the spec’s mechanics:

  1. Our spec-defining ability is Avenger’s Shield (AS), which is an excellent ranged ability that interrupts/silences the target and when glyphed can provide good burst and apply a daze effect
  2. Our cast-time heals are mana inefficient and do not heal for large amounts. We do have a mana-free “mitigation” heal called Word of Glory (WoG) that is instant cast
  3. We have multiple mitigation abilities to work with, and when chained together they significantly increase time-to-live
  4. Shield of the Righteous (SotR) is our new melee “Execute” ability capable of big burst when used with 3 stacks of HoPo and the Sacred Duty (SD) buff
  5. Mana typically isn’t an issue as long as you keep casting Judgement and are careful not to spam-cast cast-time heals
  6. Our Judgement spells have been replaced by one Judgement spell. The downside to this is we don’t have the pre-4.0 flexibility of mixing Seals and Judgments with different effects, e.g. the popular combination of Judgement of Justice (applies debuff that limits run speed) with the damage-over-time (DoT) Seal. To apply the run speed limiting debuff in 4.0  you have to use Seal of Justice but the catch is your damage will take a significant hit relative to using Seal of Truth, which is a scaled-down version of the old Seal of Vengeance / Corruption
  7. We no longer cast Holy Shield (HS); the HS buff is triggered through the use of Shield of the Righteous (SotR) or WoG. The HS buff has a modest impact in PVP – it increases damage blocked from 30% to 40% (mitigation not chance)

2. Resource Mechanics

We have two resources to manage:

  1. Mana
  2. Holy Power

We generate mana via the Judgments of the Wise built-in passive which generates 30% of our mana over 10 seconds when Judgement lands on a target successfully. The Sanctuary talent also generates mana when we Block or Dodge. That being said, there are some situations where you may find yourself getting low on mana:

  • You are chain casting heals, e.g. Flash of Light (FoL)
  • Your target is > 10 yards away so you can’t cast Judgment
  • You use mana-intensive abilities, such as Holy Radiance (HR) or Consecration without the talent Hallowed Ground (HG)

I’ve found it helpful to invest 2 points in Improved Judgement (IJ) to extend the range of Judgement to 30 yards. More on this later. I don’t think HG is worth the investment so I only use Consecration when I have enough mana to work with.

We still have Divine Plea (DP) to regen mana, but with the change in 4.0.3a to Shield of the Templar, the most valuable use for Prot for DP is to generate 3 Holy Power instantly.

As of Patch 4.0, all Paladins have a new class mechanic called Holy Power (HoPo). For Prot, Hammer of the Righteous (HotR) and Crusader Strike (CS) build 1 HoPo per use – assuming the blow is not dodge/parried and the target is not immune – up to 3 total (note that HotR and CS now have a shared 3-second cooldown).

We have to manage HoPo carefully. It’s advisable to use your ranged attacks (e.g. AS, Judgment) while closing a gap so that you can cast HotR / CS as soon as you are in melee range to build HoPo.

At 85, you can spend HoPo to cast:

  • SotR for the burst damage
  • WoG for the heal
  • Inquisition for the damage buff

I like the HoPo mechanic because it adds flexibility and situational control – YOU can choose how to spend it and it makes gameplay more dynamic. It reminds me of the awesome Righteous Fury mechanic from Warhammer Online.

3. Burst and Sustained Damage Mechanics

We generate most of our burst from the following abilities:

  • AS
  • SotR
  • Hammer of Wrath (HoW) on targets at 20% or less health

I do not typically use Inquisition in PVP. While it’s excellent for AOE PVE tanking, the Inquisition buff is not guaranteed to provide value in PVP given that you may be CC’d during the time the buff is up. One case where Inquisition is valuable is when casting it prior to a high-burst sequence with Avenging Wrath and a 3-HoPo SotR with Sacred Duty up.

It’s worth noting that these (and some other Paladin) attacks deal Holy damage, which is not mitigated by any resistance. If you’ve read my class guides for other games, you may recall that I favor non-Physical damage, e.g. Swordmaster’s Spirit damage in Warhammer Online and Orc Reaver’s Fire damage in LOTRO, because targets tend to feel equally squishy when you are dealing damage that is not mitigated by armor or resistance.

AS has a 15-second cooldown, and that cooldown can be reset via a 20% proc (with talents) from HotR / CS. Because of this, you want to use AS early and often. Pre-4.0 sometimes we would wait for the right moment to use AS (e.g. chain CC a Healer/Caster for a burst sequence) but that rationale isn’t as valid anymore.

SotR packs a wallop when it crits at 3 HoPo. In general, you should not use SotR unless

  • You have 3 HoPo, due to the damage scaling, and
  • You have the Sacred Duty (SD) buff proc from Judgment

The SD buff guarantees that SotR will crit. Given that our Crit % has dropped significantly at 85 (i.e. from ~25% at 80 to < 10% at 85) it’s unlikely that SotR will crit without SD.

We generate solid sustained damage from our Seal of Truth (SoT) ability, which is a scaled-down version of the pre-4.0 Seal of Vengeance / Seal of Corruption. It’s also our only DoT so it’s useful for whittling away kiting targets or when we’re CC’d. As of 4.0.6 all single target attacks (including Judgement, Hammer of Wrath, Exorcism, and Templar’s Verdict) can now trigger SoT.

CS and HotR are our main spam attacks so their total damage adds up – typically ~20% of my total damage. They share the same cooldown. CS is Physical damage and delivers decent burst. HotR is an AOE that delivers low single-target Physical damage and AOE Holy damage. I generally favor CS over HotR because it hits significantly harder and PVP is often about focus-firing one target at a time.

4. Healing Mechanics

With the increase in HP pool sizes to 120K+ in blue PVP gear and the lack of scaling for our cast-time heals, we are limited in terms of our in-combat healing capability at 85:

  • FoL is very mana intensive (~25% of total mana) but only heals for ~8% of max HP
  • Divine Light (DL) has a long cast time and is therefore easy to pushback/interrupt/silence. Holy Light (HL) takes as long to cast as DL, but if you have the Crusader talent proc HL heals for more than DL, so HL is a nice patch-up heal after you get a killing blow and can freecast a slow heal
  • WoG heals for ~4% of max HP per HoPo, so it’s not worth using the cooldown unless you have multiple stacks or you really need a heal immediately to buy time
  • We have an AoE HoT called Holy Radiance (HR)
  • Lay on Hands (LoH) is our silver bullet, but it has a lengthy cooldown (10m or 7m glyphed) and is not usable in arena
  • Seal of Insight (SoI) isn’t guaranteed to proc on melee auto attacks and it heals for a very low amount, so this seal is not worth using for Prot. The mana regen effect from SoI is not useful given that we have other effective mana regen tools already

I consider WoG and HR to be “mitigation heals” – they will not outheal incoming damage but they will enable you to stretch out a fight. Check out the Cataclysm 2v2 video posted Dec 22nd in Section 15 – you can see that WoG healing enabled me or my partner to stay alive long enough to win matches.

When you overheal yourself with WoG, the Guarded by the Light (GbtL) talent converts that excess WoG healing into a temporary absorption bubble.

To boost your healing output, you can glyph SoI and WoG (credit: Donnar), but given that our heals don’t scale well at 85, I would recommend taking 0 or 1 of those glyphs.

5. Bubble and Mitigation Mechanics

As with pre-4.0, we can cast Hand of Protection (HoP) on friendly targets to bubble them from Physical damage.

What has changed in 4.0/Cata:

  • Sacred Shield (SS) is now a Ret talent and therefore not available to Holy or Prot @ 85
  • Divine Shield (DS) duration was reduced from 12 to 8 second
  • Divine Protection (DPr) has been changed to a 10-second 20% damage mitigation ability for the Paladin on a 1-min cooldown that no longer procs the Forbearance debuff. So this is an ability that should get a lot of use whenever you are taking focus fire. It is dispellable
  • The passive talent Ardent Defender (AD) was changed from a passive to on-use ability (ugh!) and is dispellable
  • We gain an awesome mitigation ability at 85 called Guardian of Ancient Kings (GoAK) which is not dispellable and mitigates damage by 50% for 12s. This ability in some ways is better than DS because your damage output is not affected, the duration is 50% longer, and it does not put Forbearance on you

Per Tullkas’s testing, when you use both DPr and AD, they stack additively (20% + 20% = 40% total mitigation, or 60% damage taken). DPr / AD seem to stack multiplicatively with GoAK; i.e. if you have GoAK and DPr up at the same time, you take 40% damage (50% mitigated by GoAK, then 20% of the remaining 50% of the damage is mitigated by DPr).

When we block a melee attack with a shield, we mitigate 30% of the damage or 40% if HS is up. Note that we can’t block spells, which limits the value of the Block and Mastery stats.

6. Crowd Control Mechanics

Our stun, Hammer of Justice (HoJ), has a cooldown of 40 seconds with talents.

The daze (snare/slow) effect was removed from the base AS ability but you can and should glyph it back.

Aside from AS, our only “snare” ability is SoJ, but it’s not really a snare, it’s a run speed limiting debuff. As noted in the Overview, we can’t mix and match different Seals and Judgments as we did pre-4.0, because now there is only 1 Judgement spell. Note that SoJ only applies on melee attacks, so you have to close to melee range first before the debuff is applied, whereas pre-4.0 we could apply Judgement of Justice from range.

In 4.0.6 all Paladins can train Rebuke, which is a melee interrupt on a 10 sec cooldown that lockouts the target from the interrupted spell’s school for 4 sec.

7. Seal Mechanics

We have four Seals:

  • Seal of Insight (SoI): chance to restore mana/health on melee hit
  • Seal of Judgement (SoJ): applies run-buff removing debuff on melee hit
  • Seal of Righteousness (SoR): adds Holy damage on melee hit
  • Seal of Truth (SoT): same as the pre-4.0 SoV/SoC DoT on melee hit

SoI provides a very minor amount of healing and is therefore not helpful for Prot. In my experience you don’t need SoI for mana regen if you have IJ talented or when you are fighting melees and have Sanctuary talented as your Blocks regen mana. (FWIW, SoI isn’t useful for Prot PVE either, because we glyph SoT to provide an Expertise bonus, and this is necessary to reduce chance for a boss to Parry / Dodge, and the Parry decrease is a big factor as Parry resets a boss’s swing timer.)

SoJ is situational. I’ve found that the effect’s value has been decreased with the increased usage we get out of AS and the fact that you have to melee to apply the debuff, whereas pre-4.0 you could cast JoJ up to 10 yards away to apply the debuff.

SoR adds a flat amount of damage to melee attacks and Judgement but it never crits.

SoT is superior to SoR as a DPS seal in PVP. SoT DoT ticks (Censure in the Combat Log) can crit, and once SoT is stacked to 5, every attack delivers extra damage (Seal of Truth in the Combat Log). As of 4.0.6 all single target attacks (including Judgement, Hammer of Wrath, Exorcism, and Templar’s Verdict) can now trigger SoT.

8. Team Support Mechanics

As with pre-4.0, we can cast Hand of Protection (HoP) on friendly targets to bubble them from Physical damage.

Divine Guardian (DG) was changed to be an AOE raid buff that decreases damage taken – without transferring that damage to the Paladin – and this scales incredibly well the more friendly targets are under attack. Given the lack of damage transfer we can no longer use DG as a tool to pre-emptively break CC such as Sheep/Blind/etc. However, we still have Hand of Sacrifice (HoS) which transfers damage from the friendly target to the Paladin.

In mass combat it’s very helpful to cast DG and HR – this can buy just enough time for friendlies to survive to affect the outcome of a big fight.

In 4.0, the Druid buff Mark of the Wild (MotW) and Paladin buff Blessing of Kings (BoK) provide the same buff, so if you have a Druid in your party/raid you should buff Blessing of Might (BoM).

9. Recommended Talents and Glyphs

Here is the recommended 0/31/10 “Protribution” spec at 85:

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#sZGrMcRzdRRucbG:szcVdzmMz

Here are comments on the mechanics of select Prot talents:

  1. Eternal Glory (EG): we are dependent on HoPo for our healing (WoG) and SotR burst damage, and EG makes 30% of your WoG casts consume no HoPo
  2. Grand Crusader (GC): synergizes with AS by having a 20% chance to remove the cooldown when using HotR or CS. Amazing talent
  3. Sacred Duty: synergizes with SotR to make it crit more often. Amazing talent
  4. Shield of the Templar (SotT): this talent provides multiple benefits – in particular it reduces GoAK’s cooldown from 5 min to 3 min and enables Divine Plea to instantly generate 3 HoPo

Guarded by the Light (GbtL) buffs WoG healing and causes it to proc the HS block buff, which provides a modest mitigation increase. GbtL is no longer must-have as it was in 4.0 before 4.0.3a, but I still take it.

You’ll notice that I took all the Prot tree talents (31 points total) except the following:

  • Toughness: armor is useless against bleeds and non-Physical damage (i.e. Spells)
  • Hallowed Ground: buffs Consecration. I passed on this talent because most players will simply move of Consecration and the cooldown of Consecration is too high for my liking
  • Reckoning: don’t spec into Reckoning now because not only is Seal damage nerfed (previously, Reckoning’s extra melee attacks proc’d your Seal) – in addition, Reckoning now only procs off Blocks not your melee attacks (credit: Elemental)

As far as where to invest talent points outside of the Prot tree:

  • Crusade: buffs the damage from our main spam attacks so it’s worth considering. As of 4.0.3a, also procs the Crusader buff which increases the next HL heal by 300%
  • Improved Judgement (IJ): the extra 20 yard range for Judgement is surprisingly useful. It not only provides better ranged damage capability but also helps mana regeneration when you have no nearby targets to Judge and can drop a target down to the HoW threshold. As of 4.0.6 Judgement stacks SoT, so IJ increases the range that you can stack your SoT DoT. Some Paladins IMO greatly underestimate IJ’s utility in PVP
  • Rule of Law: provides a 15% increase in Crit rate for frequently-used abilities (CS/HotR and WoG)
  • Pursuit of Justice (PoJ): buffs movement by 15%, which is better than any enchant. And it enables some CC effects cast on you to generate 1 HoPo

For Prime Glyphs: SotR and WoG are must-have. Your 3rd glyph should either be CS or SoT. With CS no longer generating HoPo if the target dodges/parries, it’s now worthwhile to glyph SoT for the Expertise buff, which should reduce your target’s chance to dodge by 2.5% and parry by 2.5%.

There are 2 must-have Major Glyphs:

  1. Dazing Shield Major Glyph: applies the run debuff daze effect we had prior to 4.0
  2. Focused Shield Major Glyph: this is the same glyph was had pre-4.0 for buffing AS damage

For the 3rd Major Glyph, I recommend taking Hammer of Justice (HoJ) – the extra 5 yards to our stun can be a life-saver. You can also slot LoH, which in 4.0.3a was changed from a Minor to Major glyph. Situationally (i.e. against Locks and DK’s) Turn Evil is very useful.

For Minor Glyphs: doesn’t really matter. I slotted both Blessings. I would have thought Insight would be worthwhile but you typically won’t go OOM – I slotted Truth.

10. Stats / Enchants / Gems / Gear Recommendations

Stats

Summary: Strength and Resilience are our most important PVP stats

  • Each point of Strength grants 2 AP (2.10 with BoK/MotW) and through the Touched by the Light (TbtL) passive 0.60 Spell Power (0.63 with BoK/MotW). TbtL is the reason why Prot favors Strength over Attack Power (AP). If you want to boost your damage and healing, this is the stat to stack
  • Resilience provides passive always-on mitigation (i.e. reduction)  for all damage in PVP. If you want to improve your survivability, this is the most important stat. Note that once you have a full set of PVP gear, you probably won’t need to gem/enchant any Resil – what you get from gear and socket bonuses is sufficient – and in most PVP situations opponents won’t be targeting you anyway (unless you are the Flag Carrier)

Some players have theorized that Intellect is better than Strength point-for-point as many Paladin abilities have coefficients for Spell Power. Given that we “double-dip” from Str with the TbtL mechanic, Str is better point-for-point compared to Int.

Stat Myths

There are a lot of guides that are (unfortunately) providing misinformation about which stats to stack for Prot. I’ll go through stat myths one-by-one.

“Stack Mastery to boost your survivability”

The Prot Mastery Divine Bulwark boosts Block %, but Block doesn’t do anything against Spells. Mastery does provide some value against melee opponents but not enough to stack.

In addition, you can only block attacks from your front-facing and when you are not incapacitated.

You will gain far more survivability from Resilience than Mastery.

“Stack Stamina to boost your survivability”

Stam does not scale based on the amount of incoming damage whereas Resilience does. For other classes (esp Healers) there may be valid arguments for stacking Stam.

I have seen the benefits of passive mitigation, from stats such as Resilience, over Stam in other games – e.g. Toughness in WAR.

“Stack Stamina because it provides a DPS boost via Vengeance”

Vengeance only consistently stacks anywhere near max in PVE because bosses deal very high sustained DPS which more than offsets the fast rate of Vengeance decay. However in PVP you will rarely get to 75% max Vengeance, let alone 100%. You can easily test this in PVP with the Vengeance Status addon. If you watch any of my videos from Nov 27, 2010 on, you can see my Vengeance Status bar below the HoPo bar.

Keep in mind that any additional benefit from stacking Stam would only kick in after you reach the amount of Vengeance before stacking Stam. Therefore, stacking Stam for the DPS benefit would be as helpful as wearing a floatable life vest while driving a car to prevent drowning – it might help in that rare case you drive into a body of water but otherwise it’s of no value.

“Haste is a good stat for Prot”

Haste is pretty useless for Prot. Remember that Prot is an ability-cooldown-limited spec, not a global-cooldown-limited spec, and that the vast majority of our abilities are instant cast. The only benefits you get from stacking Haste are fasting cast-time heals and slightly faster auto-attacks. In most situations the only in-combat cast-time heal you’ll be able to reliably cast is FoL and it already has a short cast-time and its main mechanics issues (mana inefficiency, small healing amount) are not addressed with Haste.

If you are wondering why Ret Pallies talk about Haste so much – it reduces the cooldown of CS through the Sanctity of Battle talent, which is not applicable for Prot.

Enchants

  • Weapon: Landslide or Avalanche
  • Shield: Titanium Plating – please note this is a must-have for the 50% Disarm reduction as we can’t generate HoPo when Disarmed
  • Head:  60 Str/35 Resil (PVP enchant)
  • Shoulders: 50 Str/25 Crit (Therazane faction) or 50 Str / 25 Resil (PVP enchant)
  • Back: 65 or 50 Crit
  • Chest: 20 Stats, 15 Stats, or 40 Resil
  • Wrist: 50 Str, 65 Crit, or 50 Hit
  • Hands: 50 or 35 Strength
  • Waist: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle for the 2nd gem slot
  • Legs: Dragonscale Leg Armor
  • Feet: 50 Hit

Gems

  • Red sockets: always Str
  • Yellow sockets: Str/Crit, Str/Resil, or Resil
  • Blue sockets: Str/Hit
  • Meta socket: Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Str and 3% Increased Critical Damage)

Reforging

Reforge the following stats to Hit until you reach the 5% cap, then reforge to Crit:

  • Haste (almost completely useless for Prot)
  • Mastery (only helpful against melees)
  • Expertise (actually not that bad, reduces avoidance for any target)

Gear

In general you should stick with PVP gear instead of PVE gear, given that there are 1+ PVP items with Strength and Resilience for each slot. You want to use the Pally Scaled PVP set and off-set plate pieces and the accessories that have Strength on them.

Make sure that your first purchase with Conqueror points is a/the weapon – this is the case for any MDPS class or Hunter. Get the Mace (Vicious Gladiator’s Bonecracker) or Axe (Vicious Gladiator’s Hacker), as these have the highest max-damage number for 2.6 Str weapons. The Sword (Vicious Gladiator’s Slicer) is a no-no because it has a lower max-damage number and PVP is all about burst. If you play a Human or Dwarf Paladin, take the Mace over the Axe per the 3 Expertise racial (contributed by: Marko, Tullkas).

For PVP shield, get Vicious Gladiator’s Shield Wall.

Aside from the classic PVP trinket which removes CC, we have two Str trinkets available that have different mechanics:

Which trinket (Insignia or Badge) depends on what are you trying to maximize:

  • For controlled burst, go with the Badge
  • For higher average benefit, go with the Insignia

For a great breakdown on the new PVP points systems and the order to buy PVP pieces, read Cynwise’s excellent article on PVP Gear in Cataclysm for Season 9. If you want to understand the relationship between arena team rating and weekly max Conqueror points, check out Felbent’s chart or a points calculator. Keep in mind that a Prot Pally can buy their 1H weapon with 2 days of Arena – Monday and Tuesday – it’s super easy.

The one non-PVP item you should consider picking up is Darkmoon Card Hurricane (DMCH), as Andy suggested:

the main reason for my post was to mention that this spec does really well with the Darkmoon Hurricane deck. Average damage is around 5k’ish but it can crit and I’ve seen 8k+ numbers from it previously. On my damage meter it’s normally sitting just below my melee or auto attack damage. If you don’t need the resilience from the other trinkets I would recommend grabbing this trinket for this spec.

DMCH synergizes great with our class mechanics!

11. General PVP Tips and Tactics

  1. When closing the gap to opponents, open with AS and Judgement – there is no point anymore in saving AS. You want to use CS or HotR as soon as you are in melee range to start building HoPo and to proc the cooldown reset for AS
  2. Use enemy Pets as Holy Power batteries, esp as you are making your way to your target while they are kiting you. Against Mages, do not get caught in No Man’s Land – where you are taking fire from the Mage and their pets but are out of melee range of any of them
  3. Remember that CS / HotR will not build Holy Power on an Immune (e.g. bubbled / Ice Block’d) target or a target that dodges or parries your attack (e.g. Rogue with Evasion), so plan accordingly
  4. If you are low on health and have 3 Holy Power and your opponent is also at low health but above Hammer of Wrath range, you can choose to finish with SotR or heal with WoG. If you go with WoG you have a 30% chance to get an EG proc which restores those 3 Holy Power and you can use SotR immediately. It really depends on the situation, but against DPS classes going the WoG route is the more conservative play in 1v1s
  5. If you need to bubble yourself to heal up, it’s a good idea to use a GCD while you’re bubbled to cast Judgement, which procs your mana regen. Then spam-cast FoL. That way you can heal up without going bone dry on mana

12. Macros

Macros can be a HUGE help for simplifying your keybinds and thereby improving gameplay. Below are some of the key macros you see me using throughout my videos.

CS / Judgement

This macro is simply for convenience, so I can hit the same button at least 3 times in a row when engaging a target in melee range:

#showtooltip

/castsequence reset=2 crusader strike, judgement, crusader strike

I do also keybind Judgement separately, so that I can use it without having to use CS first.

HotR / Judgement

Same macro as the previous one, but for HotR

#showtooltip

/castsequence reset=2 hammer of the righteous, judgement, hammer of the righteous

Bubble Me or You or Us

#showtooltip

/cast [mod:ctrl] divine guardian; [help] hand of protection; divine shield

Here’s how this macro works:

  • If you hit the macro with the Ctrl key, you bubble everyone else
  • If you have a friendly player targeted and you hit the macro, you bubble them with HoP
  • If you don’t have a friendly player targeted you bubble yourself with DS

As a side note, I map this macro to the “B” key (“B” as in “Bubble”) for easy recall.

Mitigation Chaining (DP / GoAK / AD)

/cast [mod:ctrl] guardian of ancient kings
/castsequence reset=30 divine protection, guardian of ancient kings, ardent defender

Divine Plea On / Off

#showtooltip
/cancelaura Divine Plea
/cast Divine Plea

Pressing this once will cast DP, which generates 3 HoPo, and pressing it again will remove DP. This is a great macro if you need an emergency WoG heal or SotR.

Cast-Time Focus Heal

#showtooltip
/cast [mod:ctrl] holy light
/cast [@focus, mod:shift, nodead] flash of light; flash of light

If you press Shift with this macro, you FoL your focus. Otherwise you either cast FoL or HL.

WoG Focus Heal

#showtooltip
/cast [mod:ctrl] holy radiance
/cast [@focus, mod:shift, nodead] word of glory; word of glory

If you press Shift with this macro, you WoG your focus. Otherwise you either cast WoG or HR.

Hand of Sacrifice

#showtooltip hand of sacrifice
/cast [help] hand of sacrifice; [target=focus, exists, nodead] hand of sacrifice

If you have a friendly player targeted, this casts HoS on them. Otherwise this macro casts it on your focus target, if you have one.

In-Combat Aura Switch

/cancelaura

/castsequence retribution aura, resistance aura

Before engaging in combat, use this macro to get to the Aura you want to have up. Then during combat you can simply hit the macro to switch to the other Aura. For simplicity, I map this macro to the “A” key (“A” as in “Aura”) for easy recall.

Maximum Burst (credit: Spiegelmann)

Cast Inquisition (with your 2 HoPo) for 8 secs

Activate my macro:
#showtooltip
/use Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s badge of Victory
/cast Divine Plea
/cast Avenging Wrath

Then SotR

PVP Self-Buff

No Druid around, use this:

/castsequence reset=10 blessing of kings, seal of truth

With a Druid around, use this:

/castsequence reset=10 blessing of might, seal of truth

13. UI / Addons / Power Auras

To turn on enemy health bars with class colors with the default UI functionality:

  1. to show the health bar over all players, use the keybind for Show All Name Plates
  2. to color the health bars of enemy players per their class: check the box for: Options | Interface| Combat | Class Colors in Nameplates

I recommend the following addons specifically for Prot:

  • Range Display: this simple but highly useful addon shows distance to target, focus, and mouseover
  • Power Auras: highly customizable addon that can display buffs, debuffs, procs, etc. Non-trivial to learn. Below are some Auras I use
  • OmniCC: displays numeric cooldown over your abilities
  • Quartz: elegant cast bar addon, shows latency
  • Rogue Spam Reborn: suppresses annoying error messages including “you have no target” or “out of range” et al
  • Vengeance Status: displays your current Vengeance AP buff. RAWR!

For Arenas, the following two addons are must-have:

  • Gladius: provides enemy health, mana, and casting bars
  • Gladiminish: enhances Gladius to provide diminishing return timers for CC

Power Auras

Please do not ask me technical questions about how to use PA, you can ask those on the addon site.

Here are some of my auras:

  • Hammer of Wrath: when HoW is usable on your target, this aura displays the HoW icon and makes a clear sword unsheathing sound

Version:4.4; ignoremaj:false; icon:INV_Hammer_04; buffname:Hammer of Wrath; x:99; bufftype:7; owntex:true; isResting:0; inVehicle:0; sound:50; exact:true; size:0.15; texmode:2; ismounted:0

  • Sacred Duty: when SD procs, this aura displays the SD icon with the timer til the buff expires and makes a clear bell ringing sound

Version:4.4; ignoremaj:false; icon:Ability_Paladin_JudgementRed; buffname:Sacred Duty; x:136; owntex:true; isResting:0; mine:true; inVehicle:0; sound:36; exact:true; size:0.15; texmode:2; ismounted:0; timer.g:0.1882; timer.h:1.11; timer.enabled:true; timer.r:0.1451; timer.cents:false; timer.Relative:BOTTOM; timer.Transparent:true

  • Crusade: if you land the KB on an opponent, you get this buff icon with timer. The buff increases your next HL cast by 300%

Version:4.9; ignoremaj:false; icon:Spell_Holy_Crusade; buffname:Crusader; x:172; owntex:true; isResting:0; mine:true; inVehicle:0; sound:61; exact:true; size:0.15; texmode:2; ismounted:0; timer.g:0.1882; timer.h:1.11; timer.enabled:true; timer.r:0.1451; timer.cents:false; timer.Relative:BOTTOM; timer.Transparent:true

14. Recent Patch Changes

The Devs are still making a lot of tweaks to Paladins in Patch 4.x. Below is a summary of changes (documented and undocumented) for recent patches and their impacts.

Current Live Version: 4.0.6

Analysis for Previous Versions: 4.0.3a | 4.0.6

My comments for changes are in italics.

Patch 4.1 Changes (Official Patch Notes)

Word of Glory: We want Retribution and Protection paladins to have reasonable healing on themselves or others, but we know paladins sometimes feel like they can’t use their Holy Power on anything but their heals in some situations. We’d rather these two specs spend most of their Holy Power on damage-dealing abilities, with occasional healing.

IMO Prot and Ret will be steeply nerfed PVP if the WoG nerf goes in with even a 5-sec cooldown let alone 20-sec, without some other strong compensating mechanics, e.g. increased CC.

Back-to-back WoG heals (via Eternal Glory for either spec, or Divine Purpose for Ret) or WoG heals cast within 2 GCDs of each other (e.g. WoG, Divine Plea, WoG) are a huge part of what make Prot and Ret viable in PVP.

Anyone who debates that point IMO is either ignorant about the mechanics of those specs in PVP or biased against Paladins.

I’m very perplexed by the reasoning for the nerf mentioned by Blizzard. Granted, Blue posters often get skewered / nitpicked by players for anything they say, but this is one case where I think the concerns of the playerbase are entirely warranted.

I have read some inane arguments that Prot and Ret shouldn’t have offhealing capability in PVP, but what the people saying those things fail to take into account is that relative to other DPS classes, we lack CC. As such, we heal because that’s what is needed in some situations to help friendly players, because we can’t peel to the extent other classes do.

  • Walk in the Light (passive) removes the cooldown of Word of Glory. N/A for Prot
  • Divine Guardian cooldown is now 3 minutes, up from 2. Minor nerf to Prot
  • Grand Crusader will now generate a charge of Holy Power if the Avenger Shield it procs is used within 6 seconds. Very nice buff that should help offset the nerf to HoPo generation in 4.0.6
  • Divine Storm now generates 1 point of Holy Power if it hits (i.e. successfully lands on) 4 or more targets. N/A for Prot
  • Sacred Shield’s internal cooldown has been increased to 60 seconds, up from 30. N/A for Prot

15. Narrated PVP Videos

Below are my narrated PVP videos, in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Although some of the mechanics in the older videos are outdated, there are points I make in each video which are timeless.

2011 Jan 31 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 3v3 Arena Volume 2

2011 Jan 28 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 3v3 Arena Volume 1

2011 Jan 19 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 2v2 Arena Volume 4

2011 Jan 11 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): Victory by Landslide

2011 Jan 08 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 2v2 Arena Volume 3

2011 Jan 05 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 2v2 Arena Volume 2

2010 Dec 31 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a)

2010 Dec 22 (Cataclysm, Patch 4.0.3a): 2v2 Arena Volume 1

2010 Nov 27 (WotLK, Patch 4.0.3a)

2010 Oct 24 (WotLK, Patch 4.0.1)

2010 Oct 21 (WotLK, Patch 4.0.1)

2010 Oct 16 (WotLK, Patch 4.0.1)

2010 Oct 14 (WotLK, Patch 4.0.1):

16. About the Author

Added this section due to this (predictable) post on the WoW forums, prior to the launch of Cataclysm:

It doesn’t look like you have that good pvp gear and experience, i wonder what prompted you to make this post ?

My Paladin hit level 80 over the summer of 2010. I didn’t get to 5k PVP GearScore until 2 months before Patch 4.0, so I had very little time to Arena before 4.0 launched.

I earned the 2k rating Achievement in 2v2 and 3v3 in Cataclysm as Prot and was the highest-rated Prot Pally in the Shadowburn battlegroup in 2v2 and 3v3. You can see my Arena teams here:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/wildhammer/taugrimm/pvp

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Posted in Guide, Paladin, PVP, Video, World of Warcraft
1,019 comments on “Guide to Cataclysm Protection Paladin PVP (Videos)
  1. taugrim says:

    OK, given that people have been asking whether to go with a melee weapon (e.g. Wrathful Gladiator’s Cleaver or Pummeler) vs a caster weapon (e.g. Wrathful Gladiator’s Gavel) and that I was around the Honor cap, I bought the Wrathful Gladiator’s Gavel, socketed +20 Int gem, and enchanted with +63 spellpower.

    I went around and beat on Stormforged dwarves in the Storm Peaks with the Gavel and with the Cleaver and captured data with Recount. Please note this was not an exhaustive test but enough to give me an idea of the relative performance.

    Wrathful Gavel: +20 Int, +63 SP (i.e. caster weapon)
    AS: 13761 avg crit
    HoW: 15063 avg crit
    SotR: 11783 avg crit
    HotR: 2862 avg phy + holy crits
    Judgement: 4972 avg crit

    Wrathful Cleaver: +20 Str, Berserking (i.e. melee weapon)
    AS: 13623 avg crit
    HoW: 15080 avg crit
    SotR: 12559 avg crit
    CS: 4397 avg crit
    Judgement: 4017 avg crit

    Based on the above data:
    – AS and HoW (surprisingly) were about the same. I don’t know what the coefficients are offhand but I was expecting the Gavel to do better based on what people have said
    – SotR, as expected, was slightly better for Cleaver – weapon DPS doesn’t seem to be a factor but the AP is what matters
    – CS damage with Cleaver on single targets was over 50% higher than HotR with Gavel
    – Judgement favored Gavel over Cleaver by over 20%

    I didn’t test WoG healing, but here are FoL numbers:
    Gavel: 8625 non-crit
    Cleaver: 9300 non-crit

    As expected, the Gavel increased healing throughput, by roughly 8%.

    • trôndhar says:

      same here. i felt like dying more often with gavel than with cleaver.

      so I’ll stick to my basic set.

    • Spiegelmann says:

      First, testing with +20 int and spellpower enchant vs +20 str and beserking is 1 way. I use spelldmg weapon but with str gem and beserking enchant…

      Furster I agree that DPS is better with the Cleaver, but PvP is all about burst, and survivability, which should be better with a spelldmg weapon in theory.
      Better healing and better burstspells. Also exorcism IS part of the spells used in PvP, os I think this should be measured, same as avenging wrath and even Concecrate (tallented, since you get 2 free tallent points, not put in Reckoning)

      Last is that a spelldmg weapon favors a 3/31/2 spec, with concecrate (max selfhealing) and the cleaver a 0/31/5 spec, with reckoning.

  2. Tullkas says:

    With a new nerf to our most used seal Im wondering what to use in CATA:

    Retribution

    * Seal of Truth now scales from 1% of Spell Power and 1.93% of Attack Power, down from 1.33% Spell Power/2.57% Attack Power. Now deals 9% weapon damage when stacked 5 times, down from 15%.

    I read on wowhead that Seal of Justice actually does Holy damage on hit and additional damage on Judgement. Thats something you dont mention in your guide or am I wrong?

    Same I read for Seal of Insight “Unleashing this seal…” but I dont read it in Seal of Righteousness is this just a tooltip bug on wowhead?

    • taugrim says:

      I read on wowhead that Seal of Justice actually does Holy damage on hit and additional damage on Judgement. Thats something you dont mention in your guide or am I wrong?

      Judgement always deals Holy damage – the amount varies based on the Seal. The amount of damage Judgement deals is always mentioned at the end of the tooltip for the Seal as “unleashing” damage.

      It does suck that SoT is getting nerfed. No reason for it IMO. It was already considerably weaker than the SoC/SoV DoT Seal from pre-4.0.

      We may have to switch to SoJ from SoT if SoT’s damage is lackluster.

      • Tullkas says:

        I know Judgement always does damage I was just wondering if that “Unleash this seal” on Truth and Insight and missing on Righteousness wowhead.com tooltip does mean additional damage or not. Ok so its just a tooltip bug.

        Hovever SoJ is doing (in addition to speed reduction) a small portion of holy damage on hit, which you dont mention up there in your guide. Maybe its just so crappy that its not worth to mention. Have to test it myself tonight.

        As I read on forums SoT has been nerfed due to raid dps number tunning where it does tons of pasive damage. Its again good example how PvE nerf affects PvP. Lets hope they reconsider SoJ and make it real PVP seal. If not Im going to use Insight for additional heals and mana.

      • Tullkas says:

        ah nvm:
        GC:
        The most recent Seal of Truth change was just a tooltip correction. The numbers did not go down.

        We did nerf Censure and raise Exorcism in a previous build, but that should not be new information.

        Well anyway its nerfed compared to 4.0

  3. Marko says:

    Note: If you have the choice between the Cleaver and the Pummeler, choose the Pummeler for the 3 expertise you pick up as human.

  4. Tullkas says:

    I have done some test on Seals&Judg in full wrath gear:

    Righteousness : Hit 251, Crit N/A, Judgement 2523/4918
    Truth (5stacks): Hit 320, Crit 681, Judgement 3243/7587
    Justice: Hit 123, Crit 300, Judgement 2007/4135
    Insight: Heals for 1000+ on proc, Judgement same as Justice

    My armory: http://armory.wow-europe.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Stormreaver&cn=Tulkkas&gn=Blackened

  5. Scott says:

    Awesome! Pls keep the guides comin. It’s nice to see a guy post stuff in mid lvl gear instead of being maxed out. That way, if the gods of luck, time and opportunity smile on a guy, and we can get “full (insert pvp gear title here)”, we can be that much better. You rule!

  6. Marko says:

    No one has been specific, but how much critical strike rating should I carry, if hit and expertise are capped and when should I consider haste or mastery?

    • Reggs says:

      From the last time I checked, you don’t need expertise for PVP only PVE, so its a waste to cap it on PVP gear, Hit should be the only thing you need for PVP.

      • Marko says:

        Any advantage other than Crusader Strike to reforge Critical Strike to haste? Any disadvantages? What’s the optimum level or Critical Strike. I heard Critical Strike not worth anything? Should we continue to push critical strike?

      • taugrim says:

        Read Section 10 on Stats carefully. All these questions have been addressed.

        If you still have questions, post them.

      • Reggs says:

        I do not know why you would need haste, from what I have read haste is only good for RET, to decrease the cooldown of CS. Other than that I do no think its needed especially for PROT PVP. I haven’t even reforged any of my PVP gear, I think the crit is fine, just gem str and ap enchants, and you should be good.

        Correct me if I am wrong Tau.

      • Marko says:

        Strength and Resil or just pure strength?

      • Marko says:

        My other spec is Ret and moving between Prot and Ret bring up the haste issue.

  7. Requizen says:

    Hey, don’t know if you noticed, but it looks like GbtL only increases self-casted WoG by 10% now. I don’t know if this is due to WoG being buffed, but that seems like a pretty big nerf to the talent.

  8. taugrim says:

    So I finally downloaded 4.0.3, logged in to the game, and checked out the tooltips and talents

    What I saw surprised me. Some of the Beta changes are live, others are not. Some of the nerfs I was expecting to see for specific talents (e.g. PotI, Holy Shield, Blessed Life, etc) are not live yet.

    Not sure what the deal is.

    The following list on Wowhead seems accurate with what’s live now.
    http://www.wowhead.com/blog=173983#paladin

  9. MJ says:

    Hey,

    1st: very nice guide
    which addons do u use?
    Especial the one which shows the cd.

  10. Marko says:

    I am not getting much self heal from popping WOG when I have 1 holy power up. The minimal heal doesn’t seem to protect me or offset significantly the 5-25k arcane blast even with the right glyphs to offset magic damage. What am I doing wrong? I sneak a flash heal which is more than life savings – but that means i haver to stop and hope for no interrupts and likely I will lose my target.

    • taugrim says:

      Mages do a truckload of damage. You have to CC them as early and often as possible.

      If you AS immediately, you have some time to close the gap and build HoPo before the Mage CCs you and creates a gap.

      Smart Mages are now using their silence not as a counter but as an opener to prevent us from using AS. And that gives them control.

  11. Marko says:

    New Nerf

    Protection

    Divine Bulwark now grants 2.25% less block chance per point of Mastery, up from 2%.
    Holy shield no longer increases chance to block. Instead, it increases the amount blocked by an additional 10%, for a total of 40% damage blocked.
    Shield of the Righteous: Contribution of attack power halved (now 60% with full Holy Power) and base damage brought up so that a level 85 paladin in Heroic dungeon gear deals the same damage with no Vengeance, but Vengeance has less impact.
    Shield of the Templar now reduces the cooldown of Guardian of Ancient Kings by 40/80/120 seconds, down from 1/2/3 minutes.
    Wrath of the Lightbringer now increases Crusader Strike and Judgement damage by 50/100%, up from 30/60%

  12. taugrim says:

    Here is a log of the notable changes to the Guide per new Patch 4.3.0a:
    – given the nerf to PotI, the Prot PVP spec has changed from 3/31/2 (http://www.wowhead.com/talent#scZGrMcRzdRRu0b:sZMmzZMm) to 0/31/5 (http://www.wowhead.com/talent#sZGrMcRzdRRucb:szcVd)
    – it’s no longer as clear that SoT is superior to SoR given the SoT nerf. TBD
    – revised the section on Patch Changes. It now provides my take on the changes and additional undocumented changes

  13. Marko says:

    It hard to say what Blizz has in mind for us but as a Blacksmith I am looking at Cata on what I can make. I noticed on the top was a shield for healing and a shield FOR damage with stamina and strength. I did not see a shield for block and parry at the top tier.

    Elementium Earthguard
    Binds when equipped
    Shield
    Off Hand

    11896 Armor
    +190 Strength
    +286 Stamina
    Durability 120 / 120
    Requires Level 85
    Item Level 359
    Equip: Increases your mastery rating by 127.
    Equip: Improves hit rating by 127.

    This seems to make me think there is a place for a sword/board prot pally in the future.

    To see all that can be made by BS visit:
    http://www.mmo-champion.com/?attach_external_tab&72654848&3&0&0&0&0

  14. VayaChute says:

    The meta gem you recomend dont work if you dont have more blue gems that red ones, WTF!!!

  15. Accendare says:

    Hey Taugrim!

    Great job with the guides! I just came over from Allods Online actually and I had followed your MH guide, haha. Anyway I’m super new to WoW, but I have a steady grasp on MMORPG’s as I have played many of them for a considerable number of years. Anyway, I just had a quick question.

    Leveling up from level 1, I’ve heard that it’s best to go Ret until about 40, then switch to Prot. Is this true? What would be your take on the most efficient talent build to level up quickly? :o

    Thanks!

    • taugrim says:

      Given the re-design of the talent trees and specialization, it’s viable to level as Ret or Prot. Plus all Paladins now get CS as a base ability.

      If you want to level up quickly, you’ll probably use the Dungeon Finder quite a bit, and you’ll see the fastest queue times if you queue as a tank. You can tank as Ret but Prot is (obviously) better at it.

  16. Razark says:

    Good vids as always.
    I still miss the days you played Lotro and pvmp’ed with us creeps.
    But I can’t deny the fact that WoW simply has better pvp system, since turbine does not care at all about that part.
    I might give WoW a try with this Cata expansion.

    • taugrim says:

      I still miss the days you played Lotro and pvmp’ed with us creeps.
      But I can’t deny the fact that WoW simply has better pvp system, since turbine does not care at all about that part.

      Turbine made a mistake in not investing more into the PVP system. LOTRO could have been wildly popular for PVP players with the great IP / setting.

      WoW’s PVP system is fun. I’m glad I gave WoW another try – the PVP is good enough to keep me entertained. I’m at level 81 now and have a ways to go to get to 85 and Rated BGs, but I’m looking forward to the new endgame PVP.

  17. Morgan says:

    Firstly, well done! I love Protadins, and was never comfortable being a healadin in BG’s. I am currently trying a prot build with Healdin armour (lots of INT) and I am finding it good fun, but I hit like a baby sparrow :(

    However I am finding that I am a lot more versatile on the battlefield as a defender and healer due to the vast amounts of mana I have. I am working towards having three sets of armour (PVE, PVP INT, PVP STR) and loving every minute.

    Thanks for the inspiration, and if you ever going to try an INT build, will be interested to see how you setup

    • taugrim says:

      I am a lot more versatile on the battlefield as a defender and healer due to the vast amounts of mana I have

      Mana should not be a problem for Prot, even in a full Str build, so long as you are Judging frequently to proc mana regen and not spam-casting FoL too much. If you need mana-free healing we have HoPo from CS/HotR and DP to insta-gen 3 HoPo for the burst WoG.

      I’ll have to see @ 85 how WoG scales.

      Int builds don’t make sense for us in PVP. TbtL makes Str our best overall damage+healing stat.

      Thanks for the inspiration, and if you ever going to try an INT build, will be interested to see how you setup

      I would only stack Int for a Holy PVP build, which I did try briefly about a week before Cata went live.

      Take care :)

  18. Gyldenfeax says:

    At 85 I’ve got about 110k HPs in just quest reward gear with no enchants etc and a 3 Holy Power WoG heals for about 15k (non-crit). I don’t have any holy talents but I do have the Glyph of Seal of Insight, with Seal of Insight up. In WoTLK 15k was almost half my HPs, but in Cata it’s less than 15%. Hardly spectacular.

    • taugrim says:

      At 80 in WotLK, in my WotLK Prot PVP gear:
      40.0k HP
      4.3k WoG (10.75% of max HP)
      8.5k FoL (21.25% of max HP)

      At 83 in Cata, in my WotLK Prot PVP gear:
      62.9k HP
      4.2gk WoG (6.7% of max HP)
      9.1k FoL (14.5% of max HP)

      So my healing with the same gear is about 60% as effective as it used to be. Granted, the level differential kind of screws up the comparison.

      Keep in mind you have crappy green gear with no enchants, and I assume no gems as well. So your healing will only improve as you get better gear. Granted, in full PVP gear you will also see your HP go up.

      Still TBD whether our healing will be functional at 85 in full PVP gear with enchants/gems, etc.

  19. youzs says:

    Just adding to the blog. I went prot at 80 right before cata dropped. With average player at the moment having 100K hp. I’ve noticed a few things melee in pvp are usually not bad, warlocks are give or take. If I proc a lot of avengers shield to interrupt casting its usually not too bad to getr a win. Mages as with most classes do have the ability to walk all over me its all about being the better player.

    The thing I’ve noticed is before as would crit for about 11k. Now in decent gear as crits for about 2k depending on gear and shield of righteous for around the same. With crusader strikes on leather for over 11k crits. It doesn’t seem like prot abilities scaled like other classes. A mages fingers of frost ice lance will crit for around 20k in decent gear. I still find prot very viable with as crits and full shield of righteous crits. Ill be in full blue pvp set by Sunday hopefully so ll add more then.

    I’m on break at work on my phone so I can’t link armory. Ill link name and realm though

    Youztrolling _emerald dream

    I look forward to following the blog!

  20. taugrim says:

    The thing I’ve noticed is before as would crit for about 11k. Now in decent gear as crits for about 2k depending on gear and shield of righteous for around the same. With crusader strikes on leather for over 11k crits. It doesn’t seem like prot abilities scaled like other classes.

    Your AS is critting for 2k now? I’m still seeing crits in the teens.

    Ill be in full blue pvp set by Sunday hopefully so ll add more then.

    You’re ahead of me. I just dinged 85 last night, so thrilled to be done with leveling, which I find fairly tedious. I did get a good handle on Prot PVE tanking.

    But my real love is PVP.

  21. Youz says:

    Sorry, my AS is critting for around 20k, non crit is around 8-10k. I went 5-0 and got full points in arena this week. I’m just hoping with more resil gear that Prot actually becomes more viable than it currently is for pvp. It’s currently definitely viable but I don’t think it’s as good as it was at 80 when 10k was a quarter of someone’s life.

  22. Marko says:

    My AS is critting at 25-27k, non crits at 9-12k – at 85 with level 346 gear with resilience at 1590. SOR can crit as high but also much lower – even 3k or less. It is so inconsistent. We need more.

    Other players have 125k health up to 175k+ so critting is not nearly high enough in over all damage unless you are in a long battle.

    WOG is worthless. It’s minimal heal does not save you. Getting a quick flash heal off is nearly impossible because it can be interrupted. Flash heals can drain mana like a fire hose. Bubble is worthless as everyone seems to be able to dispell it and does. It does not last long enough to be able to fully heal yourself. I have 110 – 122 hp, depending on gear. Blizz needs to address that.

    Our problem is – we are melee and its a caster world which blizzard favors. Having to run into a group of horde for dps only draws focused fire and you can go up like a match.

    Tops in damage in any BG is usually range/caster with a few exceptions. It’s not balanced. Cleanse dispells one movement impairing affect but I always have multiple affects on me making it worthless.

    Freedom is not long enough and chasing down kitting casters is troublesome. Stopping to get a heal off, just puts the caster farther away as he/she blinks. I have 2 points in pursuit of justice but it’s not enough, unless it’s a long battle and over time and I may catch up.

    None the less, I have no fear in taking down anyone one-on-one. My damage is high in most BG but still question on how viable this is.

    The guardian doesn’t seem to be able to help much in pvp. Other classes are able to pour out tremendous damage of unearthly proportions that the guardian isn’t able to mitigate. It seems to prolong the inevitable. You hardly ever see it used.

    One suggestion. Keep Inquisition up as much as possible to help with holy damage.

    There are many protection paladins out there today as ret is still broken. Protection seems to be our only dps alternative or roll a Wrogen.

  23. […] have some work to do to update the Cata Prot Pally PVP Guide but what I’ve written above is a good starting point if you wanted the skinny on Prot @ […]

  24. taugrim says:

    Last night I updated the Guide per my experience thus far @ 85.

    Given that this Guide is fairly lengthy, if you want a summary version of what has changed, check out the following article:
    https://taugrim.com/2010/12/20/wow-cataclysm-protection-paladin-pvp-first-take/

  25. Cassiuss says:

    I know its early in Cata but I have been very frustrated with my playstyle and survivability in PVP. I am so grateful I found this guide. For the last 2 nights I have been using it to set up a prot pvp spec and I am loving my main again. Seriously you saved me character! Thank you.

    • Cassiuss says:

      I was Ret before btw

    • taugrim says:

      For the last 2 nights I have been using it to set up a prot pvp spec and I am loving my main again. Seriously you saved me character! Thank you.

      Awesome to hear, Cass. Thanks for taking the time to write, posts like yours make the work worthwhile for me.

      • Cassiuss says:

        Np, maybe next time I will even proof read my comments. Thanks again for the guides and updates. Keep them coming we are reading!

  26. Valkryss says:

    Great 85 PvP movie – I’d be most interested in your thoughts on 1v1 by class. Of course, it is seldom 1 v 1 in BGs and never in Arena. Again, I consider your guide indeispensble for anyone starting out with Prot PvP. Thank you for your time, dilligence and hard work. Fab.

    • taugrim says:

      I’d be most interested in your thoughts on 1v1 by class

      OK, keep in mind that right now I have about 9 out of 17 slots with 85 PVP gear.

      1v1 vs Healers
      You may or may not be able to kill them, but they probably shouldn’t kill you either.

      1v1 vs Melees (aside from Feral Druid)
      If you spec the way I recommend, you should typically grind them down.

      1v1 vs Feral Druid
      Right now Feral is insanely strong.

      With PS, Feral can insta-cast Cyclone, which is huge for controlling an opponent. And against melee they can pop NG for the insta-root.

      Feral has incredible survivability tools. I have watched a Feral turtle in Bear with Frenzied Regen, tank multiple enemies, and actually increase their health. And that’s just one of their bag of tricks.

      Now, couple the CC capabilities and survivability with incredible bleed damage, and what you have is a 1v1 machine.

      1v1 vs Hunters
      If they can kite well, this can be a tough matchup for the Paladin, as you will not be able to maintain melee range much and their pet will whittle you away.

      If the Hunter isn’t a skilled kiter, you should win.

      1v1 vs Caster RDPS
      OK, so we all know Mages / Locks / Spriests are tough.

      My guess is that once I get full baseline 85 PVP gear in every slot, with some Resilience gems/enchants and our mitigation cooldowns, I will be able to grind them down.

      That was the case right at the end of 4.0.3a Cataclysm, when I experimented by swapping out Str for about 160 Resil. The results were amazing. I was able to beat 2.2k+ rated Casters, i.e. not scrubs. I did sometimes still get owned, but that’s life as a melee against Casters in WoW right now.

  27. Aum says:

    You briefly mentioned using Holy gear with a Prot spec. I’m going to try this out at level 85 since Holy is going to be my main spec and I don’t want to spend months acquiring a second set of gear to enjoy my offspec.

    I’m currently leveling as Prot and at level 54 I find that I run out of mana really quickly spamming flash heals in heavy pressure situations. I frequently top the healing meter regardless of this drawback, but it still bothers me. I also find myself wanting to spam Exorcism between judgements, flash heals and Avenger’s Shield against mages because of how fruitless it is to try to keep them in melee, but I just don’t have the mana to do this with Prot/Ret gear. Since I rarely die before I run out of mana, my thinking is that gearing like a Holy Paladin will allow me to live longer.

    What interests me most about gearing this way is how well I’ll be able to switch from harassment/node defense to limited main healing in a BG setting. The only thing preventing me from being an effective healer in a BG like AV right now is my mana pool. Judgement of the Wise just isn’t enough to keep me going in that kind of setting. Assuming strength and intellect are budgeted the same on level 85 PvP gear, gearing for intellect over strength will give me 40% more spell power, which means more potent healing.

    This brings me to potential talent options. I might drop a point in Seals of the Pure and and Divine Guardian for Hallowed Ground since Consecration is going to hit harder with Holy gear. SotP’s damage buff is lost on me since I use Seal of Insight the majority of the time for the increased survivability/mana regen and Divine Guardian is lackluster at best. Seal damage is anemic in general anyway. I view those talents as filler.

    Now all I need to do is find the spell damage coefficients of Hammer of the Righteous, Seal of the Righteous, Avenger’s Shield and Judgement. Is there a page that has accurate numbers for these abilities in Cataclysm? I’m assuming that everything except Judgement will take a damage hit, but I don’t know how big that hit will be. White damage will obviously be the biggest casualty.

    Keep in mind that this isn’t meant to be a serious arena build. I just want to recycle my Holy gear and create a resilient flag-carrying, node-defending tank that can switch to main healing on a dime in pug BGs without burning through my mana pool.

    • taugrim says:

      I also find myself wanting to spam Exorcism between judgements, flash heals and Avenger’s Shield against mages because of how fruitless it is to try to keep them in melee, but I just don’t have the mana to do this with Prot/Ret gear. Since I rarely die before I run out of mana, my thinking is that gearing like a Holy Paladin will allow me to live longer.

      If you’d prefer to play a ranged playstyle, Shockadin (Holy DPS) would be a much more effective build.

      I never use Exorcism as Prot, it can be counterspelled and such and I’d rather use the time to close the gap to an opponent.

      The only way you will beat Mages as Prot is to grind them out. I’m only just over halfway-geared with 85 PVP gear, but I will try stacking Resilience to see if I can take Casters down, just as I was able to as Prot @ 80 the weekend before Cata launched.

      Assuming strength and intellect are budgeted the same on level 85 PvP gear, gearing for intellect over strength will give me 40% more spell power, which means more potent healing.

      White damage will obviously be the biggest casualty.

      Some abilities have AP and SP coefficients. I don’t have the list of coefficients at 85 and am not planning to test. I would love to see the numbers though.

      I find at 85 in PVP that CS contributes the most of my damage in Arena and small-scale PVP, ~22%. So your CS would take a hit too if you stack Int instead of Str.

      If you are planning on stacking Int gear at 85, let us know how it goes. The one suggestion I have is to go with a Str 1H, as it will significantly boost your CS/HotR and white damage, as well as SoT if you choose to run it.

      • Aum says:

        After doing some Google searches, I found out that the holy damage component of HotR doesn’t scale with spell power at all. Neither does SotR. I guess Blizzard was overly paranoid about Prot Paladins using healer gear, so they took the option away completely. I don’t see any point in trying this build now, which is really disappointing since it initially seemed like it would be a lot of fun.

      • taugrim says:

        I found out that the holy damage component of HotR doesn’t scale with spell power at all. Neither does SotR

        I thought the Holy AOE of HotR did.

        SotR only scales with AP.

        I don’t see any point in trying this build now

        Well at least it makes your gearing options much more clear.

  28. Dave says:

    I don’t see anything on this mather:
    What’s the best Alliance and Horde race to pick in PVP for a prot pala, considering Human got nerfed.

    Alliance: Human, Draenei or Dwarf
    Horde: Blood Elf or Tauren

    • taugrim says:

      For PVP, I’d rank them:
      1a: Blood Elf (insta-AOE silence)
      1b: Tauren (fast-cast AOE stun, 5% health)
      2. Human (if you don’t use a trinket)

      The Human racial shares the cooldown with the PVP trink.

      I happen to play BE because I transferred to a new server / faction to play with a rl friend. But it does also turn out to be really strong for PVP.

      • Dave says:

        Thanks Taugrim.

        From what i read, Dwarf should be best pick for alliance. Cooldown is on 2m (stone) where humans have a 3m cd on EMFH.

      • Aum says:

        Stoneform is a really powerful tool now that feral druid bleed damage is one of the most overpowered things in the game. It’s also useful against rogues since it wipes both their bleeds and poison in one button press.

        Also, has anyone else noticed the change to Frost Resistance? It now adds 1 frost resistance per level. If this stacks with Resistance Aura, then dwarves will have 280 frost resistance (somewhere in the neighborhood of 35% frost damage mitigation) at level 85 – a pretty hefty buff against frost mages, spell pen or not. If not, then it’s a useless paladin racial and this paragraph can be ignored.

      • taugrim says:

        Stoneform is a really powerful tool now that feral druid bleed damage is one of the most overpowered things in the game. It’s also useful against rogues since it wipes both their bleeds and poison in one button press.

        Stoneform sounds useful, but I’m not sure I’d take that over a free trinket slot.

        Also, has anyone else noticed the change to Frost Resistance? It now adds 1 frost resistance per level. If this stacks with Resistance Aura, then dwarves will have 280 frost resistance (somewhere in the neighborhood of 35% frost damage mitigation) at level 85

        I asked about this on the Pally forum, will post the response.

      • taugrim says:

        Here’s a response from Farranor on the WoW forum:
        http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1670090865#3

        No, it doesn’t stack. It’s really pretty lame, since any raid and most groups will have MotW/Kings, resist aura/totem, or both. MotW/Kings don’t stack with the aura or totem, either. It’s all pretty lame. Basically, your highest resistances spells and abilities make the other sources useless.

        Did I mention that this is extremely lame?

        I was expecting this to be the answer, given how nothing stacks now.

      • Martinbella says:

        GC has just said on MMO that EMFH will go back to a 2min CD for humans.

  29. Dave says:

    Power Auras Classic looks VERY appealing to me. Especially since i want to get rid of keybindings :-)

    Your 2 imports work ok. Thanks for them…
    Do you use a whole set and would you share it with us?
    Most of the ones i found arent for version 4.9.

    I’m thinking of an import for:
    Holy Power
    Crusader (To see we can use FoL for 300%)

    Thanks

  30. strife says:

    good guide here. i would def like to see 1v1 match-up advise.

    • taugrim says:

      OK, you’re the first person to ask for that specifically.

      I need to grind out a full set of Honor gear and then test, and I’ll post my findings from 1v1s/duels. Right now I have 9 x 85 PVP pieces, so I have some work to do.

      So give me some time.

  31. Dave says:

    Another thing that could be added to this guide = recommended professions for PVP and why.

  32. Mephiron says:

    hey taugrim,
    i just wanted to thank you becouse your guide helped me alot in PvP. Now I love to do PvP as a Prot. Thanks alot :D.

  33. Dave says:

    Taugrim and other protpvp intresees :-)

    What are your thoughts on gemming in yellow?
    Of course resilience is great, but how much are we aiming for rly? If we would have 3.1k instead of 3.2k resi, but with Inscribed Ember Topaz (+20 Strength and +20 Critical Strike Rating) in our yellow slots, wouldn’t this be a good alternative? Or is resi THAT important?

    • Marko says:

      As much as we can survive, you need to do damage. Adding more resil is at the cost of damage – stay with as much strength as you can with gems and pick up critical strike by reforing mastery items.

      Anyone else??

    • taugrim says:

      Of course resilience is great, but how much are we aiming for rly? If we would have 3.1k instead of 3.2k resi

      I’m going to stay at or above 3.3k Resil (~35% mitigation). I gemmed 2 x 40 Resil, but I saved my three JC gems for 67 Str.

      For PVP in any bracket where you have a healer, pre-Vicious gear 3k is probably sufficient. I do BG a lot so I lean towards a bit more Resil than others might.

      What are your thoughts on gemming in yellow?

      After the 2 Resil gems, I went with the 20 Str, 20 Crit gem.

  34. Marko says:

    As for professions: i like Blacksmithing and Jewel crafting. With BS, I can add an extra socket to gloves, bracer and belt and fill them with Jewel crafter only gems such as 67 strength or 67 resilience. I don’t mine (gather) and this makes materials expensive but I can make it up by crafting jewels others want and need and sell for a profit. It can be very competitive.

    • Dave says:

      What are your thoughts on Engineering?
      It used to be great with the use of boost boots + parachute cloak, but with the boost taken away from rated bg/arena, i’m kinda stuck into keeping it or taking something else next to my JC’ing.

  35. Chase says:

    Taugrim, I’m loving the guide and videos. I’ve been Holy for some time now, and was wanting to switch things up.

    I’ve never had terribly efficient keybinds, so I for one would love as many post or videos on that as possible.

    Thanks for all these man, really appreciate it.

    • taugrim says:

      Steelballs on the WoW forum also asked for that.
      http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1020864251?page=7#132

      Here was my response to him:
      Effective keybinding setup – in particular a setup that facilitates “circle strafing” / “mobile meleeing” while using abilities – is one of the key differentiators between players of melee classes. A good meleer can cut angles on opponents to break LoS, remove target avoidance factors, and stay on top of their opponent to inflict maximum sustained damage.

      Part of the issue is that such setup is highly preference-based and subjective, which is why I’ve stuck to discussing mechanics, which are by and large objective.

      I have been tweaking my keybinding over the past 3 years to support better movement and reduce finger stress, and over time this refining has improved my gameplay.

      E.g. if you look at this video from almost exactly 2 years ago, my circling strafing now is much smoother and sharper compared to what it was:

      Let me think of a way of doing this that would be helpful to a broad audience. Part of the challenge for any player is changing keybinds / setup is massively disruptive, and it takes a long time to re-learn a new setup.

      Although, in my experience, the pain is worth it.

      I am going to work on Arena video(s) next, maybe after that I’ll come back to keybinds.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      • Dave says:

        Another vote for knowing how to setup keybindings as prot the best way. I know this is personal and can change quite a bit, but i’m still a clicker (can you imagine).
        I’d like to have a very good starting keylayout i can get used too and learn, knowing it’s a pretty good one.
        I’m keep telling myself i need to learn keybindings, but i just never get to it, jut cause i don’t have a ‘keybind’ guide for protpala to follow.

  36. Jaeryn says:

    Wow Taugrim, you’ve given every answer that I wanted excpet one. LOL keybinds!! I really need you help with keybinds cause i want to set mine like yours but it seems pretty hard cause you post one up puhleace! thank you so much, you are the best pally player. IMO – wow should give you a trophy for “best pally award” lol . thank you so much! but one thing I don’t really understand, though toughness doesnt help spell and bleed, but it’s still good for like + armor isnt it? cause i still dont understand how bad it would be that you dont put talents on it/

    • taugrim says:

      Wow Taugrim, you’ve given every answer that I wanted excpet one. LOL keybinds!!

      Multiple people including you have asked for this recently. When I have time I will writeup a keybind/movement Guide.

      I’m too busy with other game priorities (Arena, making videos) to get to that right now. It’s a realllly complex topic, so addressing it will take quite some time.

      one thing I don’t really understand, though toughness doesnt help spell and bleed, but it’s still good for like + armor isnt it?

      Toughness increases armor by up to 10%.

      Please note:
      – this doesn’t mean you take 10% less damage from Physical damage. It means your armor is 10% higher, which ends up translating roughly to a modest single-digit % reduction in Physical damage taken
      – other classes have abilities that ignore or reduce armor. E.g. Sub-spec Rogue
      – against classes that do deal Physical damage, we already have avoidance (Parry / Dodge) and mitigation (Block) mechanics to help deal with the damage taken

      Toughness is a must-have PVE tanking talent, because bosses tend to deal a lot of Physical damage. But it’s not a good investment for PVP.

  37. alister says:

    for the focus shields glyph i’m almost certain that it was 50% not 100% for 4.0.1

  38. Marko says:

    I am still getting alot of skepticism from battleground team mates on how viable this spec is. My damage is high my kills not so high. They say my damage is too spread out and not focused enough to be viable. I can not blow up people like a mage, hunter or a warrior. While I explain that I stun and silence which allows others to take advantage of the situation, they seem to grimace and wanting more of a traditional ret pally. Surviving seems unimpressive. Any counters?

    • taugrim says:

      I am still getting alot of skepticism from battleground team mates on how viable this spec is.

      Do you mean Rated BGs? If not, who cares what other people think?

      My damage is high my kills not so high.

      If you are playing the spec correctly you should get plenty of KBs. I usually am top 3 or 4 for KBs for any BG I’m in.

      While other specs have better sustained DPS, Prot spec is a good finisher. We have SotR, AS, and HoW to finish people, and it’s Holy damage so it’s not mitigated by Resistance or armor.

  39. Khail says:

    Cheer Taugrim! You might reconsider and check Reckoning, it does proc extra seal damage now. Maybe it was hot fixed earlier but I tested and it does proc now.

    • taugrim says:

      Interesting.

      I’m still not thrilled that Reckoning procs off our blocks instead of our attacks, which it used to. But if the Reckoning attacks proc extra Seal damage again that is good news.

      This would situationally help get SoT stacked to 5 faster. And it would help SoR as well – although I recommend SoT over SoR based on the mechanics.

      • Martinbella says:

        Hi Taugrim,

        Getting my gear together, but even not fully geared up, am running 2v2 with a lock (destro) and the synergy is good.

        Combining my stuns/silences/dazes with his fears and high dps (+pet) we have been improving quickly (after only 14 matches together). Fights go on for a while, but hence are more engaging and rewarding.

        What is most encouraging is that I can still keep him healed via Hand of Sacrifice, Divine Guardian/Holy Radiance and in a pinch Flash of Light. This is important for a “double dps” team.

        I am finally starting to feel like a true “support” player (what I believe the pally to be). Will keep you posted as we get up towards 2k rating.

        Cheers

        p.s. Reckoning? Worth it since hotfix?

      • taugrim says:

        Getting my gear together, but even not fully geared up, am running 2v2 with a lock (destro) and the synergy is good.

        Glad to hear it’s working out well. Keep us posted!

        p.s. Reckoning? Worth it since hotfix?

        Maybe 1 point, but not 2.

        Considering we’re not a priority target, the # of opportunities to get blocks is not that much, which affects the # of Reckoning procs you will get. You can taunt pets but better players will control them.

        The other thing is that when Reckoning procs, the extra swings only matter if you can stay in contact with your target. If you get rooted/slowed/etc and lose melee contact, you’ll lose the opportunity for procs.

  40. Spiegelmann says:

    Finally some time to play (and pvp).

    I see a lot of discussion about sta vs res. And like you (Taugrim) already wrote. Res is better, here some numbers:

    95,3 res points is 1 % dmg reduction, so this is a fixed ammount, so liniar progress.

    If you have 0% res and 100k hp people need 100k dmg to kill you.
    If you have 10% res and 100k hp people need 111k dmg to kill you
    If you have 25% res and 100k hp people need 133k dmg to kill you
    If you have 50% res and 100k hp people need 200k dmg to kill you.

    The bennefit of each point of res vs dmg reduction in % is liniar, the bennefit of of the dmg need to kill you isn’t!

    Also skills like Divine protection/Ardent defender etc are great in combination with high res.

    100k HP’s 25% dmg reduction from res and 20% from Div prot gives you an effective amount of HP to get killed of: 166667 (not 182k since both reduction dont stack!)
    popping GoAK a whooping 333k!)

    So stacking res is better then stacking stamina!
    Also you healer friend needs to heal less effective HP’s which is better for mana conservation.

    But you can’t kill someone without some good burst. So it’s the trick to find balance between offence (strg/crit) and defense (res/sta).

    Here a nice trick which even might work for a 2×2 protret/protret team ;)

    Both pala’s get 2 or 3 stacks of HoPo and both their Sacr Duty buff procced.

    Now instead of SotR them, pop Divine Plea and SotR again, I do the following:

    Cast Inquisition (with your 2 HoPo) for 8 secs

    Activate my macro:
    #showtooltip
    /use Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s badge of Victory
    /cast Divine Plea
    /cast Avenging Wrath

    Then SotR

    This shield is HUGE and always a crit I already did some 37K hits (none res targets I guess). Avanging Shield for at least 13k none crit and some white dmg
    Then Hammer to finish

    So with 2 protret pala’s working together you can kill a healer in 3 Cooldowns, in which he is sillenced aswell.

    Solo in BG’s it’s works aswell, but you have to peel some HP from the healer. I try to look like a minor threat to him, buy just building so HoPo, judge a bit and try to make him heal his dps friends which are focussed instead of himself, try to get him in a confort chair about his own HP, my dmg and his ability to heal himself when really needed. Then Nuke 50k and finish with Hammer.

    • taugrim says:

      Cast Inquisition (with your 2 HoPo) for 8 secs

      Activate my macro:
      #showtooltip
      /use Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s badge of Victory
      /cast Divine Plea
      /cast Avenging Wrath

      Then SotR

      Will add this to the Guide and credit you. Thanks!

      • Spiegelmann says:

        Thnx, I posted this, couse a big-fat-always-crit is better then a crit and big hit ;)

      • Spiegelmann says:

        Made a little change to teh macro’so you just have to use this 1 button 3 times instead of different attacks

        #showtooltip Avenging Wrath
        /castsequence reset=3 Inquisition, Divine Plea, Shield of the Righteous
        /cast Avenging Wrath
        /use Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s badge of Victory

        This macro works as follows:
        First use of the button cast Inquisition, AW and use the trinket
        Second cast Divine Plea
        Third cast SotR

      • Dave says:

        Mmm, With this macro my trinket doesn’t seem to get used eventhough i have the same one… Does it work for you?

      • Dave says:

        I tried to do them seperate and WOW!
        a 42k CRIT! Normaly i have like 20-25k crits with a 3 hp SotR.

        Macro doesn’t seem to work for me atm, but i’ll try to fix it myself a bit.

      • Dave says:

        Bingo,

        The macro works perfectly if i put this:
        #showtooltip Avenging Wrath
        /castsequence reset=3 Inquisition, Divine Plea, Shield of the Righteous
        /cast Avenging Wrath
        /use 13

        Put your Bloodthirsty Gladiator’s badge of Victory in the 1st trinketslot. Weird it didn’t work before since i double checked my spelling.

        Thanks again for this macro Spiegelmann!

  41. Andy says:

    Always a ton of useful information on this site so props go to you Taugrim. The videos you post are great and they give people a chance to see fights from the outside looking in. On rare occasions even I learn a thing or two that I may not have thought of previously.

    I’ve been running a prot pvp since rets destruction pre cata and it’s the most fun I’ve had in BG’s for a long long time.

    Those that are having trouble doing consistent damage or nice burst may need to fine tune key bindings etc to get the most out of the class. I do very well in most BG’s rated or otherwise, on top of this it’s a great spec for flag running if no druids are available. I’m often sitting with a comparable killing blow ratio to other quality players that I BG with. It’s not uncommon for me to finish on 30 – 0 in places like AB. Not dying also means that I don’t waste time at the graveyard and allows my damage to equal or exceed other players. On top of this you have the ability to affect the outcome of a game like no other, I love the fact that I can single handed take on 2 or 3 opponents and tie them up for a considerable time whilst picking them off one by one.

    Enough of that, the main reason for my post was to mention that this spec does really well with the Darkmoon Hurricane deck. Whether in BG’s or on the target dummy the proc from this trinket accounts for an average of 10% of my total damage done. Since it procs from all of my abilities (ranged & melee) it adds that little bit of zing we sometimes need. Average damage is around 5k’ish but it can crit and I’ve seen 8k+ numbers from it previously. On my damage meter it’s normally sitting just below my melee or auto attack damage. If you don’t need the resilience from the other trinkets I would recommend grabbing this trinket for this spec.

    • taugrim says:

      Those that are having trouble doing consistent damage or nice burst may need to fine tune key bindings etc to get the most out of the class. I do very well in most BG’s rated or otherwise, on top of this it’s a great spec for flag running if no druids are available. I’m often sitting with a comparable killing blow ratio to other quality players that I BG with. It’s not uncommon for me to finish on 30 – 0 in places like AB. Not dying also means that I don’t waste time at the graveyard and allows my damage to equal or exceed other players. On top of this you have the ability to affect the outcome of a game like no other, I love the fact that I can single handed take on 2 or 3 opponents and tie them up for a considerable time whilst picking them off one by one.

      You hit the nail on the head. I’ve never gone 30-0 in any BG though :)

      Enough of that, the main reason for my post was to mention that this spec does really well with the Darkmoon Hurricane deck

      Funny you should mention that. It’s the one non-PVP item that I’ve been thinking about picking it up.

      It runs for about 25k on my server, and I have 8k right now, so I don’t have the resources to pick it up.

      The 321 Str is huge for damage and healing, and the damage proc is significant. I didn’t even think about it critting, and it is awesome that it does.

      Thanks for sharing that tip, I’ll add it to the Guide and credit you.

  42. Amadin says:

    Amazing guide and amazing comments section. I’m just now getting into hardcore PvP myself and can’t wait to try some of this out. Keep up the great work!

  43. Marko says:

    Darkmoon Card Hurricane also provides a chance for 5200 nature damage on melee attacks. It procs often enough to be significant as our battles usually last longer than most.

  44. taugrim says:

    Now that Patch 4.0.6 notes have been published, I’m archiving my notes on the Patch 4.0.3a changes here:

    Patch 4.0.3a Changes (Official Patch Notes)

    • Divine Bulwark now grants 2.25% less block chance per point of Mastery, up from 2%. Very minor buff. Additional undocumented buff: block chance increased from 16 to 18%
    • Seal of Truth: periodic damage from Censure reduced by 25%. This is a nerf to the DoT portion. Additional undocumented nerf: the additional % damage at 5 stacks has also been reduced, according to my tooltips from 16% to 10%
    • Protector of the Innocent no longer triggers from self-heals. This is the most significant nerf for Prot (and Holy and Ret too) in the patch
    • Holy shield no longer increases chance to block. Instead, it increases the amount blocked by an additional 10%, for a total of 40% damage blocked. This is a significant nerf for PVP. The previous version of HS increased block chance by 15%
    • Shield of the Righteous: Contribution of attack power halved (now 60% with full Holy Power) and base damage brought up so that a level 85 paladin in Heroic dungeon gear deals the same damage with no Vengeance, but Vengeance has less impact. As I had expected, this so far hasn’t had much impact on Live – my crit SotR damage is about the same in 4.0.3a as it was in 4.0.1
    • Exorcism damage has been increased by approximately 50%. No impact. Exorcism is not a Prot PVP ability, given the mechanics (requires cast-time)
    • Shield of the Templar now reduces the cooldown of Guardian of Ancient Kings by 40/80/120 seconds, down from 1/2/3 minutes. Minor nerf, not relevant til Cata. Undocumented change: In addition, your Divine Plea will generate 3 Holy Power. This adds excellent utility to DP, which had been fairly useless for Prot in 4.0
    • Wrath of the Lightbringer now increases Crusader Strike and Judgement damage by 50/100%, up from 30/60%. On paper this seems like a nice buff to CS, however CS base damage was also nerfed (undocumented change). On Live I am seeing 270% for my CS tooltip with 3/3 Crusade instead of the 292% in 4.0.1. Therefore overall CS was net-nerfed
    • Crusade now also has a proc on kill to increase the healing done by the paladin’s next Holy Light by 100/200/300% for 15 seconds, in addition to its current effects. Minor buff
    • Pursuit of Justice now has an 8-second internal cooldown, shared with Blessed Life. Not relevant yet, but a minor nerf in Cata
    • Glyph of LoH was changed from a Minor to Major glyph (undocumented change). Minor nerf
    • I have been observing a decrease in crit AS damage compared to 4.0.1, about 5% (undocumented change). I’m not sure if this is related, but I also noticed the Glyph description for Focused Shield say that it boosts damage by 30%. I can’t remember what it said in 4.0.1 but I thought it was 100%
    • GbtL was nerfed in terms of the bonus healing amount, but the net healing from WoG is about the same as it was in 4.0.1, because the base heal for WoG was buffed (undocumented change)
    • Hammer of Wrath is doing less damage now, ~2-3k on crit, likely due to decrease on PTR to the base damage by 22% (undocumented change). That being said, I still find that HoW packs sufficient punch considering that it is a finisher
  45. Nihilith says:

    Hi,
    great guide I love prot pally i only have a lot of troubles with snares ect.. once hand of freedom is gone.
    You didn’t mention how prot pallies (as well as holy ones) are gonna be able to use rebuke with 4.0.6 :D

    • taugrim says:

      You didn’t mention how prot pallies (as well as holy ones) are gonna be able to use rebuke with 4.0.6

      I need to update the Guide per the revised 4.0.6 patch notes.

      I’m psyched about Rebuke!

  46. craig says:

    Do we have a chance against blood dks? all my heals are absorbed up to like 33k a time from their damn new attack. what do i do if i find myself 1v1 with one.

    • taugrim says:

      Use HoJ early, pop mitigations early, make sure to use AW, and DP for the extra WoG heal.

      Ever since DK self healing got reduced I haven’t been having a problem with them.

      You can also Bubble to remove all their debuffs on you.

    • craig says:

      I am talking about Necrotic Strike. He was stacking this on me the whole fight. Could not dispel it… so i was not getting any heals. Am I missing something that I couldve done?

      • taugrim says:

        Not sure to be honest. Reading up on it, NS is nastier than I thought.

        Maybe someone who plays a DK can chime in here. I’ll ask in gchat too.

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