3.3 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

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3.3 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby knaughty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:28 pm

Please keep this thread on-topic.

It's a basic training FAQ for how to be a MT.

"Quickie update for 3.3" version.

Starting afresh for version 4.0 - will request a lock/de-sticky once 4.0.x ships.


Feel free to make suggestions.

Philosophy of the FAQ AKA: Knaughty is biased

Skip this section if you're uninterested in my personal viewpoint. Actual answers start in Mechanics & play changes.

Q: What's the point & purpose of this FAQ?
A: Short & simple answers for people who want a quick fix.
The basic assumption is that the reader is a protection spec paladin who hasn't followed every beta patch note in gory detail, or read every single thousand-post sticky on this forum. You're a Holy/Ret/SomeOtherClass re-roll wanting some quick advice on how to tank as a pally.

If you don't like the shortness of the answers, do your own damn research - the links under I want more info! near the end of this post are a great start.

Q: You're biased!
A: Yes, very.
This is a guide for people who want to be "progression raiding main tanks". It assumes you'll be MTing a 25, maybe a 10 as well. The FAQ also doesn't present the subtleties - just the "standard answer". There are no provisos or nuanced examples of edge cases. It also heavily favours "real tanking experience" over theory-craft or mind experiments. I'm tanking officer for a World 500-ish (on a good day) guild, so I see most stuff fairly promptly. There's half a dozen or so common posters here who are more advanced, including at least one "top 20" I can think of. If you're not aiming for hard modes, my guides (and this forum) may be too hard-core.

Q: I think you're wrong and am going to flame you!
A: Official forums ---> thataway. Oh, and expect to be flamed back, I enjoy it.

Q: You're rude and mean!
A: Yup.
It's not really true though. Ask a polite question (even a noob one) and you'll get a polite (if terse) answer (and maybe an update to the FAQ if I think the question is "F" enough). Ask a rude or argumentative question, and I'll joyfully tear you apart. Sorry, it's a flaw, I enjoy baiting the trolls.

Q: You don't talk about trash mobs, enchants, or detailed gear selection!
A: Correct! Being a MT is a responsibility, you need to be willing to learn how to do your job. If you need that level of training the links under I want more info! near the end of this post are a great start. The FAQ is to get you started with the basics in an easy raid instance (Naxx). After that... you're on your own. I assume you've tanked 5-mans & heroics, and can do the basics.

Q: You're just regurgitating stuff Lore / Psiven / Worldie / etc have already posted!
A: Yup. That's the point.


Mechanics & play changes:

Q: What seal do I use?
A: SoV If you're doing a lot of heroics or care about raid trash, you can blow a talent point to pick up SoC and use it for trash-packs, especially if they have 4+ mobs.

Q: What do I judge?
A: Boss needs Light and Wisdom judged on it. Light is usually more important. As of 3.2, doesn't matter who judges what. Divinity talent buffs BoL, so if someone has it, let them judge light.

Q: WTF? Thunderjudge fell off?
A: Fixed in 3.2

Q: What Glyphs?
A: Divine Plea (OP mitigation for a glyph) and SoV (best TPS) to start. For 3rd glyph I usually just run Taunt, but if I end up with massive TPS issues on some fight, I'd swap to Judgement. If you're desperate for an extra CD, Glyph of Hand of Salvation. I've never needed it.

Avenger's shield is more threat than Judgment if you don't mind single target AS. AS glyph lost it's utility since we now have Taunt to break Sheep single target. Righteous Defence if you're paranoid about taunt resists. HotR if you want your cleave to hit 4 mobs. IE: All four are decent, none are amazing. For hard-mode-progression tanking, Righteous Defence, because a taunt resist can wipe the raid.

Q: Why not Glyph of Consecration?
A: Breaks your rotation. See my Advanced FAQ for details, or read Psiven't TPS tsticky.

Q: I just got crushed. I thought crushing blows were removed?
A: Crushing blows kick in at level+4 Raid bosses don't crush. The level 80 elite is going to crush your level 70 ass.

Q: If nothing can crush, do I need 102.4%?
A: No (but...). You don't need it, but it is a nice goal to hit, and it will make you healers happy. Once you hit 102.4% block counts 200-300% towards EH, as most bosses take 2-3 hits to kill you. You want at least one gear set with Block Capped. You can't be Block Capped in ICC (wearing sensible gear).

Q: How much defence do I need?
A: Heroics: 535
A: Raids: 540 About 689 rating. This is a lot, you will have to focus on it.

Q: I'm short on Defense. What do I do?
A: Gem & Enchant for it Expect to have mostly +defence gems and enchants to start raiding. Reaching and staying at 540 Defence is a major tanking focus at 80. Easier nowadays if you farm badge gear than it was for fresh 80s in 3.0.
Q: That sucks! Why?
A: Blizzard got bored of tanks gemming nothing but stamina Damage is a lot less spiky and dramatic on level 80 tanks. So desperately stacking EH is much less of an issue. Balanced gemming / enchanting is the outcome.
Q: I still think it sucks
A: Defence won't exist in Cataclysm. Hooray.

Q: Whats this 96969 rotation stuff??? Can you explain it pls?
A: Yes., but not here. See my Advanced FAQ or Psiven's original version
A: Or watch this YouTube vid

Q: What's going on with Divine Shield and Divine Protection?
A: Divine Shield = immune, clear debuffs, drop aggro & kill a warlock.
A: Divine Protection = Bubblewall AKA Shield Wall We can tank an enrage real good now.

Q: ZOMG! Did I block an elemental?
A: Yes. You can block magical melee damage now.


Gear:

Q: What's my overall gearing priority?
First: • Get Uncrittable (540 defence). Then build special use sets:
Block set: • Get Block Capped AKA 102.4%, AKA Uncrushable. Then stack as much Block Value as possible.
EH set: • Stack stamina and armour. Stamina is EH, with a little TPS. Strength is TPS, with a little EH.
Last: Build a Threat set: • Stack strength, then Hit rating, then Expertise. Block Value has diminishing returns, worry about it when you hit 3k.

Q: What weapon do I use?
A: Tanking weapon. Spell-power weapons are for healing, not tanking. For TPS, a big, slow 1-hander, or Last Word if you can get it.

Q: What weapon enchant?
A: At 80: Good question. Accuracy is most TPS, Weapon chain is second best TPS and is dirt cheap. As of 3.2, Blood Draining has no downsides. The heal is ~2.4k and takes 40 seconds to stack to max, or does ~450-ish every 10 seconds. I used Accuracy until LK-hard, then switched to Blood Draining.

Q: What tanking gear?
A: Plate with defence Tanking plate is tanking plate. DK/War/Pal all use same stuff. Sensible DKs will pass on stuff with block rating/value. You'll maybe pass on stuff with a ton of parry to return the favour. Protection tanks (war/pal) want exact same stuff.

Q: ZOMG! My gear has no spellpower!
A: Well spotted. Everything scales with AP & Spell-power. You get spell-power from Stam and AP from Strength. Stack strength/block/hit/expertise if you want TPS/DPS.

Q: Strength, AP, or Spell-power for DPS/TPS?
A: Strength=Block > Hit > Expertise > AP You should never have spell-power gear on unless you're healing.

Q: I want to DPS as prot spec!
A: Ret gear, ret spec We have two talent trees for a reason.
A: BV trinkets AP if you don't have BV. DMC: Greatness (Strength) > all.
A: Ret gear, 1h weapon, shield But Do not downgrade to switch to ret gear. High end tanking gear is high DPS. Don't switch from epic tanking gear to crappy blue quest-reward ret gear. Only switch in Ret items that are same tier or half a tier down, and only if that have more Strength. Note that a strength/BV heavy tanking piece will probably beat a Ret piece for DPS, when specced prot.

Q: What gems?
A: Defence (to 540) > Stamina/Agility/Avoidance > Strength for your MT set. Strength/Hit/Expertise for your threat set. Don't ever use spelldamage gems. You will need more defence gems at 80 than you did at 70. Agility is same EH as Strength, and gives avoidance, but strength is more TPS. Defence beats Dodge. Dodge beats Parry. Don't gem parry if you have any other option.

Q: What enchant do I use on <this> slot?
A: Defence > Stam > everything else
A: For what? Are you short DPS/TPS? EH? Are you critable? How's your avoidance? There is no one right answer. Enchants are how you tune your gear. Stamina, Defence, Strength, Armor, Avoidance are all good enchants. Which one is best depends on the rest of your gear and the fight in question. L2P - you have to be able to evaluate your own gear! Read stickies for more advice.

Q: Should I try to cap expertise or hit?
A: Only for taunt Glyph + 6%.
A: Not really. Hit is a nice TPS stat, +hit is also nice for taunt. Expertise is OK, but just live with what's on your best tanking gear, it isn't a great TPS stat for paladins like it is for warriors.

Spec questions:

Q: Should I spec Reckoning?
A: It is OK since 3.2. Reckoning works with SoV now, so Reckoning is merely poor, rather than utterly terrible. Scales well with gear, if you're in ICC gear, Reckoning is decent TPS. I've never taken it to tank, only for LoLprotPvP.

Q: Why does everyone spec AD? It sux!
A: AD is Godly

Q: Why do tanking specs sometimes skip 2/2 imp Judgement?
A: Can't cast Judgement more often than every 9 seconds anyway. Read Advanced FAQ for more info.

Q: What's my MT spec?
A: Basic tanking talents Note that said spec is impossible - you need to put 3 points somewhere in tier 1-5.
Q: So where do I put the three points?
A: Good options: Divine Sacrifice + Divine Guardian are quite good utility. Reckoning provides moderately OK TPS.
A: Meh options: Imp HoJ is very occasionally useful in PvE. Divinity works, but isn't real useful for a tank (or anyone, really).
A: Bad options: Stoicism and Guardian's Favour are PvP talents.

Q: OK, I filled out prot, to 53/54 points - now what? I have talent points left over! Where do I put them?
A: 18 points in Ret If you're still in Naxx or tanking Coliseum, fill out ret. Read Theck's thread or my advanced guide for details
A: SotP SotP is equal best or best TPS talent in Ulduar. (Crusade is better in Naxx or Coliseum).
A: OK Holy talents: Aura Mastery and Imp LoH are decent mitigation CDs, but require 5 points in useless Holy filler.
A: OK Prot talents: Reckoning if you're going for a max TPS build (why are you doing that?)
A: Good Ret telents: Heart of the Crusader and Vindication are both very good utility talents. HotC = 3% raid crit. Probably covered by someone else, but you have to take something to get to Vindication. Awesome talent - you're no longer reliant on someone else to debuff Boss AP for you. You want this talent - same argument as JotJ. Crusade is good if you were going deep ret anyway, otherwise save your points and get SotP.
A: OK Ret telents: 2nd point in Imp Judge for trash. Imp Might. PoJ is OK - some people love it. Conviction is OK.
A: Bad Ret talents: Benediction is still crap.

Q: How will you spec for 3.2?
A:4/53/14 Utility is more important than TPS.

Random Stuff:

Q: You don't explain anything, you just say "Do this"
A: Winchester's guide gives reasons. We disagree on some things. Such is life, work it out yourself :) Or see my Advanced FAQ for more info.

Q: Warriors, Druids, and DKs can AoE tank now. Doesn't that make Paladins obsolete?
A: No Everyone can AE tank (though we're mostly best at it, DKs have more threat, but less AE mitigation). Everyone can MT (including us). Pick a tank, any tank.

Q: So which tanking class is best?
A: Mu!

Q: I have a question about mana?
A: Shut up and tank more mobs. You don't need int or Mp5 anymore. If you still go OOM, bless Sanctuary, or stick a 2nd point in Spiritual Attunement. Extended info in my Advanced FAQ on how not to go OOM. General Vezaxx hard-mode is only fight so far that 2/2 SA is useful.

Q: What's my rotation?
A: 969 Your rotation kicks in at 75 when you get ShoR and use 96969. But feel free to try and practice 969_96 if you're levelling prot (Why are you doing that?)
A: Watch this YouTube vid

Q: I run out of mana when I consecrate!
A: Then don't Consecrate. You only need it if you're tanking big packs (where Sanc will fill your mana bar).

Q: What's my fastest option for levelling?
A: PvE Ret. Spec PvP Ret on a PvP server.

Q: But I want to level as prot!?
A: Feel free. But it's slower. The Random Dungeon Queue tool helped speed up prot levelling a lot - very fast queues help a ton.

Q: Can I do 10 and 25 in the same week?
A: Yes. And hard/easy mode as well, in ToC. Four raids in coliseum a week? Thank god they removed the trash! ICC max of two, 10 & 25. One raid per instance in Cata - pick one - 10 or 25.

I want more info!

A: Start here: Winchester's guide - we don't agree on everything, but it's an excellent guide. And second opinions are good.
A: My Advanced FAQ for more detailed info.
A: Theck's MATLAB Thread WARNING! MASSIVE NERDERY!
A: Psiven's TPS sticky
A: Level 80 faction gear
A: Zamach's WoTLK Gear List
A: WTF do all these TLAs mean?(Glossary / Acronyms)

Please keep this thread on-topic.

It's a basic training FAQ for how to be a MT.
Last edited by knaughty on Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:49 am, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby Playdoh » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:59 am

Q: What do I judge?
A: Ret should judge Light, someone should judge wisdom. Thus: Wisdom, unless you have no rets, then light. Holy should judge Justice.


This might be changing. Holy will only have the ability to judge light and wisdom from a distance, but not justice.

Unless they changed it again.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby Folstar » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:45 pm

Q: Why do tanking specs avoid 2/2 imp Judgement?
A: Breaks your rotation. Read Advanced FAQ for more info.


"breaks" is probably the wrong word here. Having your judgment on cooldown 1 sec while doing 96969 does not "break" anything it is just a wasted talent point in that situation. In less rigid settings being able to judge more often can be of some benefit assuming you have JotJ / HotC / Libram / a burning desire to judge others. What else are you going to spend that point on?

1/2 Imp. BoM = silly; go 2/2 if you want Imp BoM- though then you lose that point elsewhere which is lame
1/5 Ben. = infinitesimally useful all the time, though that might be giving it to much credit

This is probably more a topic for the 'debatable talent points' section of the Advanced FAQ, but "breaks" is inaccurate here all the same.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby majiben » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:31 pm

breaks is the incorrect term for 2/2 imp judgement, better to say while using 96969 the second point is not put to use.

Also 1/2 imp BoM is underated. If you don't have have a ret or holy paladin with 2/2, then 1/2 is better than 0/2 and it will prevent your BoM from being overwritten by untalented battleshout.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby knaughty » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:40 pm

Will update based on feedback.

Re 1/2 Imp BoM: Yelling at the warriors prevents my Might being over-written by untalented Battle-shout works just fine for me :)

I'm not sure its worth a talent point to cover something that is just as easily fixed by saying "Oi! Don;t press the b'shout button"

That said: The talent section of basic FAQ will have to be updated based on the fact that Conviction/Crusade builds are a lot more viable in 3.1
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby majiben » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:56 pm

Not sure if this goes in this guide or the advanced one but SotP is better than conviction per point for threat at low levels of gear but conviction pulls ahead for higher level gear (near the end of 25 man T7).
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby majiben » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:04 am

This thread has a great video linked demonstrating how to do the 96969 rotation in a way that is superb for new tanks.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby majiben » Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:53 pm

Basic spec. Need to spend 3 filler points but this is the list off all talents you need to take.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby knaughty » Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:37 pm

Majiben wrote:Basic spec. Need to spend 3 filler points but this is the list off all talents you need to take.


Pretty much agree. Haven't finished running the mana numbers, but 1/2 SA looks sufficient assuming DP stays up on trash as well as bosses.

Basic spec with Glyphs

• DP Glyph is OP. Get it.
• MATLAB thread confirms SoV is still your tanking seal, which makes SoV glyph the best TPS glyph.
• 3rd glyph is flexible - there's no decent second mitigation glyph, so you have a few "OK" TPS glyphs or some utility options.

• Sense undead is probably still worth picking up for most people. Other minor glyphs don't matter much, get what you want.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby knaughty » Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:50 pm

OP updated. Working on Advanced version for a while.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby Panzerdin » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:18 am

Obviously I'm biased (I did write it, after all), but can I suggest http://ptr.wowhead.com/?talent=sZV0tAMuMusIufdvo0x0c as the "Basic Spec"? I'd imagine that's what people would want in a 25-man (the Benediction is because it's possible to have mana problems with 1/2 SA, feel free to replace it if you want).

Divine Guardian vs. Imp HoJ is the other point you might query, but I'd say that DG doesn't do you any favours, whereas the extra interrupt just might.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby knaughty » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:55 am

If by "basic spec" you mean the "5/60/6" equivalent that 80% of people can safely use, I don't think we're going to have one in 3.1 - There's too much filler in all three trees. Tank-spec requires you to pick 3 points of filler in the protection tree, and either 5 points of filler in Holy or 4 points in Ret, depending on whether you go for the CDs in Holy or the TPS in ret. You do at least have a choice in 3.1 (TPS vs Mitigation CDs) but the implementation is flawed with wasted points.

Specifics:

• DG was nice in 3.0, unsure about usefulness in Ulduar.

• I'm refusing to comment on 1-2/2 SA vs Benediction until I've actually had a chance to test it out - I'll most likely turn up to my first Ulduar raid specced 0/53/17 with a spare point, and either go 2/2 SA of 3/3 Crusade based on how I fell after a couple of hours.

Overall:

I like the talent changes in all three trees... but someone needs to actually test the builds. The protection tree is currently average for PvE prot in the bottom 5 tiers. Retribution have nowhere sensible to put their last 11 points - srs: 0/5/55 +11 Congrats. 11 pts left over, and you have Every. Single. Goddam. PvE DPS & Talent. Last 11 points get you nothing you'll ever use in a raid.

Holy seem to have decent build options - 51/0/18 +2 looks cookie cutter to me. Last 2 points in either 2/5 Divinity or 2/2 PoJ. PvP I guess they go 51/20/0 or something. Point is: they have zero points in useless filler (Ret Tier 1 & 2 are weak, bit not useless), and more good talents than they can buy.

Ret & prot builds are giving me the shits.
Last edited by knaughty on Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby majiben » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:58 am

There are a lot of upsoken assumptions in the spec you linked. For instance, you took cursade and conviction which are threat talents which may or may not be desired by different players. I certainly feel the build that you linked will be a popular one but it makes too many personalized choices at the exclusion of other options. I feel that listing a spec and then listing half a dozen other written options will serve to confuse a new player.

I really feel that build that only lists nonoptional talents is best.



Also the links you have in this thread referencing your other FAQ link back to the old one rather than the new. Also be sure to link to thecktd's work.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby Panzerdin » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:02 am

What assumptions, Maj? There are four things that are debatable in this spec: DG vs. Imp HoJ, Benediction vs. HotC, PoJ vs. Conviction, and nothing else.

Personally, I'd take PoJ over Conviction, but I won't recommend it was the standard option. Similarly, DG has some good points, but Imp HoJ is probably better. Benediction is hedging in case 1/2 SA bites into mana, since HotC doesn't do anything normally.
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Re: 3.1 Frequently *Answered* Questions - Tankadin basics

Postby knaughty » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:04 am

Maji: Post just above yours was written as you were writing yours and possibly covers my response to your justified criticisms :)

Already PM'd Theck and have permission to steal (and link) his stuff, just haven't dug it all out, currently just sticking "refer MATLAB thread" in various places.

Unpublished advanced thread uses the MMO-url trick we both know about to present "0/50+3/6, now add a dozen points somewhere useful, here are your options".

What assumptions, Maj?


Biggest one I can think of is "TPS > Mitigation CDs". You're assuming we'll go 17-18 in Ret. I'm leaning that way, but 12-13 in Holy might actually be better for CDs in Tier-3. I don't need the extra TPS in 3.0 from deep ret tanking builds... why take them in 3.1 just because you can do so without gimping the protection tree?

Mana issues are another: 1 or 2 in SA, Benediction or utility from Tier 2? (or Holy instead)

since HotC doesn't do anything normally.


Hadn't worked out the Holy build prior to posting "prot takes HotC" and didn't realise cookie-cutter Holy probably has 3/3 HotC.

Given HotC is now useless if there's a Holy paladin as well as a Ret... probably Benediction wins simply due to do something, no matter how weak.

anway: bed!
Last edited by knaughty on Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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