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3.1 Talent Spec Guide

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3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby Dorvan » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:35 pm

Since I've seen several posts asking about talent specs in 3.1, I figured it's about time we had a new guide to answer the most common questions. My goal here is to lay of the basic requirements for a tanking spec, as well as a brief discussion of options available. It should be noted that this guide is focused on raid tanking, but by and large the contents should be applicable to people focusing on 5 mans as well.




The Core Build

In 3.1 there is a core group of talents that virtually any prot spec should include. If you're coming here and just want to know "is my spec decent?" check against this core.....if you have all the talents here your spec is probably fine, if you don't it probably needs some work. With that said, here is the core (0/53/6). Note that the 3 points in Divinity are placeholders for any 3 points spent in early Prot....you can find further disccusion of the options later in this guide:

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#sZA0xA0uMusIufdxo




Common Extensions

From this core build, there are a number of viable ways of placing the remaining 12 points. Currently the most common preferred builds are:

0/53/18 Crusade build -- http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#sZA0xA0uMusIufdts0x0c

This build is focused on increasing threat, taking advantage of nice threat boost provided by Crusade (which provides a 3% threat boost against *all* enemies, plus an additional 3% against specific types). Common variations are to take 2 points out of Conviction to get Pursuit of Justice for the run speed boost, and getting 2/2 Imp Judgment instead of putting a point in Benediction (which can have uses in AoE situations, picking up adds, or other circumstances where you're not using a 969 rotation).

12/53/6 Imp Lay on Hands build -- http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#sVcbMZA0xA0uMusIufdxo

This build forgoes Crusade in order to get a better emergency button out of LoH. The main benefit is the 50% armor boost for 15 seconds, which gives you the option to use LoH preemptively instead of reactively. Taking Healing Light instead of 3/5 Divine Int is also a fine option, as Divine Int provides only a very marginal regen benefit for tanking.




Talent Details

A (not so) brief rundown of the talents in the core:

Divine Strength -- In WotLK we get 1 block value for every 2 strength and almost all tank gear has strength on it, making this a good talent for both mitigation and threat.

Anticipation/Imp Righteous Fury/Toughness/Deflection -- Nothing flashy, but reducing the damage we take is core to a tank's role, and these early talents are bread and butter for the job.

1/2 Imp Judgment -- Having Judgment on a 9 second cooldown is key to maintaining our 969 rotation.

Imp Dev Aura -- The healing bonus doesn't stack with druid's tree aura, but the extra armor for all your tanks is decent by itself and you can't depend on having the healing aura for someone else always, especially in 10 mans

Blessing of Sanctuary -- more damage reduction for the whole raid, as well as a good regen source for us. It's a prereq for Holy Shield/Avenger's Shield anyway, making this talent a must have.

Sacred Duty -- More health means more survivability against burst damage, enough said.

One handed weapon spec -- increases *all* damage done while a 1h'er is equipped...that means consecration, shield of righteousness, hammer of the righteous, etc....everything. 10% threat for 3 talent points is the strongest threat talent we have (except perhaps abilities like Holy Shield/Hammer of the Righteous)

Holy Shield -- This ability is what allows Tankadins to gear such that every hit they don't avoid is blocked (this is what people are talking about when they say they are "block capped" in a set of gear). An extra 1500 damage taken off of every physical hit quickly adds up in the mitigation department. The threat from the ability isn't that great, but it's such an extra side bonus.

Spiritual Attunement -- Current theorycrafting indicates the 1/2 SA is enough regen for Tankadins in combination with Divine Plea and BoSanc (add citation), and current experience thus far seems to bear this out. As such, only one point is included in the base spec, as two of our main builds depend on haivng 18 points to spend outside of prot.

Ardent Defender -- whether you love it or are lukewarm to it, AD can and does save people on progression fights on a regular basis, and regardless is a stronger option than any alternative expenditure of these points. Take it.

Redoubt -- the proc has a negligible effect for single target encounters due to Holy Shield, but it does have some benefit in AoE situations where all of your Holy Shield charges might be consumed before 10 seconds is up. Regardless though, 30% more block value is nice for both mitigation and threat and is alone enough to make the talent worthwhile.

Combat Expertise -- 6% stam is worth it by itself. The crit and expertise is icing on the cake.

Touched by the Light -- second strongest threat talent after 1H weapon spec.

Avenger's Shield -- nice pulling tool for opening threat, as well as a prereq for another great talent.

Guarded by the Light -- 6% damage reduction against spells is very welcome, as that tends to be one of our weaker areas. The Divine Plea refreshing is a key component of our regen now...with this talent once you activate Divine Plea it'll keep going as long as you attack an enemy at least once every 15 seconds. This refreshing is important not only for the regen, but because Glyph of Divine Pleae adds another 3% mitigation while DP is up, which should be 100% of the time with this talent.

Shield of the Templar -- 3% more damage reduction, plus a silence....definitely worth it

Judgments of the Just -- works on bosses. There is no reason not to take this talent, all tanks are expected to be able to put a 20% haste debuff on whatever they're tanking.

Hammer of the Righteous -- Useful for both single target and AoE tanking....a key component of our standard threat rotation.


Early Prot options

At a minimum there are 3 floating points you need to spend early in Prot in order to proceed further down the tree. None of the talents available stand out as exceptional, and there is thus no general consensus on how to spend those points. Here's a brief rundown of your choices:

Divinity -- Increases the amount of healing you take (and output). Probably the most argued about of the early Prot options. Here's a rundown of the pros/cons:

Pro:
-- Might be able to make life/death difference.
-- Seems to address survivability more directly than the competing alternatives

Con:
-- Due to the burst nature of many fights, most benefit is lost to overhealing
-- doesn't result in any mana efficiency improvement for healers
-- benefit per talent point is low
-- effect scales inversely to danger (the fewer heals you're getting, the less it helps, the more heals the greater it's effect)

Divine Sacrifice/Divine Guardian -- These talents are focused more on the utility side of things. Divine Sacrifice redirects 30% (40% with Divine Guardian) of the raid's damage to yourself. Essentially this allows you to reduce all raid damage by 30/40% for 10 seconds with Divine Shield. It certainly situational, but can be very powerful for fights where you're not tanking the whole time. Divine Guardian is useful primarily for the extra damage absorption from Sacred Shield, which is especially useful if you're keeping SS on yourself. You can now have multiple Sacred Shields on the same person, so I highly recommend keeping SS up at all times.

Imp Hammer of Justice -- Combined with Judgments of the Just (which you should have anyway), this gives you a stun/interrupt on a 20 second cooldown. The interrupt is of debatable utility, as it only affects whether you can solo interrupt something if a spell cooldown is between 20 and 40 seconds. Generally important interrupts will have someone with a 5-10 second interrupt assigned. The stun is obviously useless against bosses, but there do seem to be several fights in Ulduar with stunable adds, raising the value of this talent.

Stoicism/Guardian's Favor -- Both of these are primarily PvP oriented talents, and don't bring much to the table in PvE. The stoicism stun duration reduction may look appealing, but there are no raid bosses in WotLK that apply a stun which is affected by this talent. From a PvE perspective, skip these talents.

Reckoning -- This is a very weak threat talent. It comes in at around 16 tps per point in Naxx25 gear, or about 20% of the value of a point in Crusade (See here for Theck's analysis). My general advise is to steer clear, it's just too little bang for your buck.
Last edited by Dorvan on Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:52 pm, edited 18 times in total.
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby Dorvan » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:35 pm

Reserved

Todo:

-- talent descriptions for extension options (inc brief pro/con summary of the most contentious decisions)
-- addition of links to reference sources

All comments/feedback/discussion welcome.
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:50 pm

May want to comment on Divinity since it's shown as part of the core build.
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby Dorvan » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:52 pm

Fridmarr wrote:May want to comment on Divinity since it's shown as part of the core build.


Yeah, including that without comment was unintended and I've already added a note about it....I'm going to include a section about the options for those 3 points soon.
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby arilink » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:44 pm

Shield of the Templar
Reduces all damage taken by 3% and grants your Avenger's Shield a 100% chance to silence your targets for 3 sec.

'Divine Strength' may be reworded a bit.
"Strength and theat" into (block value or EH) and threat or something?
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby moduspwnens » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:07 pm

Lookin good. Stuck'd.
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby ck5uperman » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:26 pm

Can you address Divine Sacrifiace and Divine Guardian as well?
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby Cylan » Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:30 pm

I would say Redoubt isn't completely useless in terms of its proc; it's additional mitigation in AoE situations and you expend all of your Holy Shield blocks.

Otherwise, great guide. Should you include glyphs with the talent guide?
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby majiben » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:11 am

I agree the redoubt description is misleading.
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby Minnerva » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:40 pm

Dorvan wrote:Judgments of the Just -- works on bosses. There is no reason not to take this talent, all tanks are expected to be able to put a 20% haste debuff on whatever they're tanking.



I wanted to ask if it was really that needed considering mostly every class now had a debuff like that.
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby Jasari » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:43 pm

Minnerva wrote:
Dorvan wrote:Judgments of the Just -- works on bosses. There is no reason not to take this talent, all tanks are expected to be able to put a 20% haste debuff on whatever they're tanking.



I wanted to ask if it was really that needed considering mostly every class now had a debuff like that.


All *tanks* have it now. But that doesn't mean you're always going to be attacking the same target as your fellow tanks and NOT having the 20% attack speed reduction even rarely can be a devastating increase in damage taken per second.
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby Dorvan » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:53 pm

So Divinity is probably the hardest talent to write up in terms of staying neutral. I don't think I've quite hit the mark with what I've got so far, but what to you guys think? Any suggestions?
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby moduspwnens » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:57 pm

Dorvan wrote:So Divinity is probably the hardest talent to write up in terms of staying neutral. I don't think I've quite hit the mark with what I've got so far, but what to you guys think? Any suggestions?


I think it's alright, I'd just add that it's, by far, the weakest choice for survivability. We all agree on that. The way it's worded sounds like the community is arguing whether or not it's useful, when I think we're really arguing whether it's negligible or almost negligible.
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby Minnerva » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:03 pm

moduspwnens wrote:
Dorvan wrote:So Divinity is probably the hardest talent to write up in terms of staying neutral. I don't think I've quite hit the mark with what I've got so far, but what to you guys think? Any suggestions?


I think it's alright, I'd just add that it's, by far, the weakest choice for survivability. We all agree on that. The way it's worded sounds like the community is arguing whether or not it's useful, when I think we're really arguing whether it's negligible or almost negligible.


would it be logical, not saying it should be done. 53/18 spec viable without the JotJ and 12/53/6 as secondary spec for bosses that might present a problem if they hit fast? i am saying because they lowered the damage to ignis and made him faster meaning he doesn't hit hard anymore but fights like VoA were you have to take lots of damage from the new boss would be good to switch to 12/53/6. would that make 53/18 be able to avoid the JotJ? i am saying because i was wondering if it would have a big impact if i skipped that and grabbed presuit of justice for mobility
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Re: 3.1 Talent Spec Guide

Postby honorshammer » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:05 pm

A discussion for the 'Early Prot Optons" (Divinity, Hammer fo Justice,DS/DG) would be a nice addition.
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