My Long Road to Finding the Right Class: Paladin

When I played WoW in 2006-2007 (1.5 years), my only endgame character was a Druid which I played as Feral.

Back in Vanilla veteran Druids frequently warned newer Druids such as me not to fall in love with Feral while leveling because “your heart would be broken at endgame.” But I’m a stubborn person, and after (accidentally) realizing at level 36 how good a Bear could tank, I stayed exclusively Feral. I played the 11/33/7 Bear-tank spec at endgame, and I faced prejudice from the very narrow-minded WoW community, even in the guild I was in. There was limited non-set Leather Agility gear and people generally believed that gear belonged to Rogues.

In TBC once Feral and Prot Pally were made as viable raid tanks, people were finally supportive of having me MT – especially when they say how effective it was in the hands of a competent player. There were still many  flaws with Feral, e.g.: we had to shift to normal form between Feral forms, we couldn’t proc weapon enchants in Feral form, Feral itemization was craptastic, we couldn’t use consumables in Feral form, our PVP gear had hybridized stats (e.g. +healing, +Agi, etc), there were Feral-specific weapons, etc.

Over time I got burned out of WoW’s grindy nature (rep grinds, gear tier grinds, grind this, grind that, etc) and I didn’t like the PVP system, so I quite cold turkey and had no plans to return.

I came back to WoW in 2010 after a 2.5 year layoff, as my gaming friends said that the things I hated had been largely addressed – both for the game as a whole (in terms of getting PVP gear) and for the Druid class.

When I came back in WotLK, I decided to try Balance spec. In WotLK, there were serious (and continue to be serious) flaws in the mechanics for Balance, but I played it anyway. At times I got very tired of the lack of balance (no pun intended) for Balance Druid against other Casters. I saw Blizzard’s preliminary changes for the Balance Druid in Cataclysm and was not encouraged.

To “hedge” for Cataclysm I decided to level a 2nd character to 80, so that I would have two characters close to the new level cap. The question was, which class? The classes that made my short list were Paladin and Shaman.

After watching some “Protribution” (aka Prot Pally) PVP videos on YouTube and reading Stax’s Protribution Guide, my choice was Pally. So I bit the bullet and leveled an ancient toon from 40->80. I detest the leveling process in most games, and WoW is no exception, because leveling tends to be tedious and I enjoy endgame.

When I dinged 80 on my Pally I had a 2.5k GS (it was pitiful) and I was basically a weak DoT running around chasing people. I eventually got geared up with a full set of baseline PVP gear and Prot was fun.

Then 4.0 launched, and there were so many changes! A lot of Pallies hated (and IMO didn’t understand) the new class mechanics, especially Holy Power. I loved the changes overall. HoPo gave us another resource to work with, and I’m used to having multiple resource bars from other games – in every case they have made a class more dynamic to play.

Prot Paladin was OP at 80 in 4.0.1 WotLK, so some major nerfs came our way in Patch 4.0.3a. But Cataclysm hadn’t launched yet and I was not ready to throw in the towel. Oddly enough, Feral Druid got buffed to the point of silliness, but I don’t like to play FOTM specs. I wanted to see for myself if Prot would be viable at 85 in Cataclysm, and if that was the case, I wanted to provide helpful material (Guide + narrated videos) to other players who were trying to figure it out. I have a habit in games of playing specs that other people don’t believe are viable or weak in PVP, e.g. LOTRO Captain, LOTRO Orc Reaver, WAR Swordmaster, etc.

There are things I miss about my Druid, especially the awesome mobility and fun of forms. But Prot enables me to better support other players the way I want to (e.g. bubble, Lay on Hands, offhealing in the same form), and of all the class archetypes, the one that I gravitate to the most is the durable melee who can support / offheal. E.g. LOTRO Captain, WoW Prot Pally.

Long story short, I’m really glad I made the decision to invest in Prot :)

Posted in Druid, Paladin, PVP, Shaman, World of Warcraft
23 comments on “My Long Road to Finding the Right Class: Paladin
  1. Eric Shawn says:

    So you dont like rolling FOTM classes, but you dont mind rolling FOTY classes.


    • taugrim says:

      Prot is FOTY?

      Really? LOL.

      • Eric Shawn says:

        Nope, paladins are FOTY.

        You rolled prot, due to hearing it was FOTM, dont try and act like you were prot since the start.

        Dont worry, holy and prot will be nerfed.


      • Paravian says:

        Paladin FoTY? Maybe as holy mate. Noone trusts rets dmg output in pvp and peeps doubt prot has anything to offer.

        If anything, arms warriors and frost mages are FoTY. Pointless argument anyway, the mighty Taugrimm went prot and is leading a following.

        If you don’t like it, why do you read his blog? Haters never prosper dude.

  2. Mudkiepz says:

    Tau, i worship your posts as was it god himself. You have proven all my friends and guildies wrong, and i simply LOVE playing this underestimated class. I have in fact found another pally who was running around in retri gear. I told him to try out this site and he immediately respecced. we are now running 2s with double protribution, he is still a little undergeared but jeeez we are having fun! Thank you so mutch for making my pally fun to play again!


    • Morgan says:

      Two protadins.. fully geared.. boy that sounds interesting. I am finding the bias against Protadins very amusing, the Ravenholdt realm forums are full of such incredible bias it is beyond belief “Prots should be banned from pvp” “Respec, and stop being a #####” and so on.

      My partner is still sticking with Retribution, and I do tend to carry him a lot as he is just tunnelled from the off, but we are learning how to NUKE hard.. see a mage “Ride em down, arcane torrent, damage, stun, damage, he stuns, damage, arcane torrent” and its starting to pay off. We are about to hit 1k rating (pitiful I know) but every game sees a vast improvement.

      but yeah, thanks again for these guides, I was about to give up on protpvp till I found em! but covered THAt already :)

  3. Mortenebra says:

    So I’m a prot PvE player who missed doing PvP. I bought the crafted holy gear and did a few BGs to get enough honor for my medallion, then I came across your blog, Taugrim. I immediately had a guildie craft the physical stats PvP plate and spent what honor I had on the ret/prot honor shoulders and gloves.

    So far I’ve played a handful of BGs and formed a 2v2 arena team with a rogue. That’s probably not an optimal setup, but he’s a good friend and we’re both interested in getting into the arena game.

    My experiences have been… not so great, so far. I’m trying to determine if it’s my (lack of) gear, lack of experience, or if the prot PvP spec just isn’t for me. I find myself getting frustrated in BGs or TB because I can’t seem to kill anything, but I also don’t have the healing output to keep people up or any really strong CCs to keep enemies out of the fight.

    I’m trying to decide if I should keep trucking on to see if there is light at the end of the tunnel or if I should cut my losses and go back to holy for PvP. Was there a certain point in getting Taugrim geared up that you felt like things got better? Am I just behind the gear curve and need to suck it up?

    Any answers (from anyone, not just Taugrim :)) would be quite appreciated.

    • taugrim says:

      You are talking about two contexts: BGs/TB and Arena.

      To do consistently well in BGs you need 2.5k Resil minimum, and at least an i333 PVE weapon.

      To do consistently well in Arena you and your partners need full 85 PVP gear – other people already do.

      This has nothing to do with spec per se. You just need parity gear.

      And get your PVP 1H with Conq points ASAP.

      • Mortenebra says:

        Oh, I realize BGs/TB and Arena are different eggs, but I figured if I was geared up enough and confident with my class enough to do well in Arenas then I would do well in the BG/TB setting.

        My current gear has 2000 resilience, so I imagine that’s a large part in my woes. The prot spec is made to be durable and I’m just not durable yet. :)

        I’ll make it a personal goal to stick with pvp prot until I’m wearing at least full honor gear with a conquest weapon/shield. Is there a better method than just permanently staying in queue for BGs when my arena partner isn’t online or chaining arena battles when he is? And for a question that shows my noobiness to Cata PvP, how hard is it to hit the weekly conquest cap?

      • Jackßauer says:

        Mort we need to do some talking it seems. Shoot me a message next time I’m online we’ll do some bg’s or even arenas if you want. Im sure I can answer most of your questions if you’re curious about anything still.

  4. Paravian says:

    Hey all, Tau you
    May remember a previous post I made about starting arenas with a shad priest. Well, he went disc and we hit a wall a bit. Long story short, we tried double prot last night and finished 5-10. This ok tho, my partner is gearing up atm and only had 600 resilience and I had to carry him ( there was an awesome match where I took out a DK and afflic lock solo, was unreal. Btw, “turn evil” is awesome against lock and DK pets, so is “holy wrath”, break Los and get the thing away from you.)

    We will get better tho, he has 1600 res as o this morning so looking forward to next week and genus saving conq points for the pvp mace.

    As to the above poster who is struggling with prot. Stick it out man, I went prot first time about 2 months ago and won’t look back or play any other toons now. I am in the top 3 for dmg and KB’s every bg I do and my guilds hate to admit it bit I do mad dmg and have beaten them all in duals

  5. Paravian says:

    Tau, I’m alsonlike you as I played a Mage before and was never any good at it. Prot just works for me.

    Btw, I installed fraps but wow crashed on me twice so I uninstalled, any tips? I got a crit error or something.

    Oh, and in Warhammer I also went against the grain like you. Everyone wanted a healing DoK, I was a full Conq set sacrifice spec and people couldn’t beat me (except KoTBS, so OP man, so OP).

  6. Muddler says:

    Have to start by thanking you for the guide, video, and helpful comments.

    After running a level 80 druid, dk, mage, and shaman, I finally found the prot paly just made sense and is so much fun to play.

    Thanks for giving us all a leader among the prot palys and some goals to look forward to achieving.

  7. darthmullett says:

    mortenebra,you just have to stick it out.Get your resil up and your rogue partners up.It is an odd combo,but it is a dirty one too.the great thing about my guild is we run so many different 2s combos just to try them out,and my most successful and fun combo was with a sub rogue.He was undergeared,but not as important for a rogue in 2s,especially when I am taking the focus fire.they have so much cc and you burn people so much easier

  8. darthmullett says:

    We are all glad you found pally,otherwise we would be discussing your blog about another class.I started as an arms warrior in wotlk and loved it.I just got bored and was looking for another melee class since I hated my DK.I started as ret but found leveling solo was hard so I switched to prot.I don’t know why ,but this class just makes sense to me,and I love it.I could have gotten my warrior to 85 and geared first,but what fun is an op class?It takes no skill to stun repeatedly and string 20k crits together.Mad props on the blog.We all thank you!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hey Tau, i only have one question: do you cast Avenger’s Shield everytime it’s on or do you wait the right moment? Like casting a heal or any other spell??

    Thanks ;)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Awesome thanks! Also, good luck finding your partners;)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Forgot to add something, i just hit 85 on my prot pally, do i go straight for honour gear or buy the crafted one?

  12. JESSE DZIEDZIC says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more…

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