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Evening fellow wielders of holy shields, just starting a general discussion post for everyone to see. Ask any questions you may have or need in this thread. In time (hopefully in the next week) I will post minimum expectations of raid worthiness for our beloved path. A long with that a gear list that will help you get all you need prior to entry into the raid theater.

I am sure everyone knows in general what a protection paladin does. We stand there, wield holy light and get hit. Nothing fancy right? Fortunately that is mostly true, but there are some very specific things out there most do not think of. These are the theory crafted explanations of those certain choices (with a deep taint from my own experiences).

The big tanking seals

SoR (seal or righteousness) One of your mainstay seals, a solid swinger with a normal weapon that causes 190 threat per swing(assuming 250spell damage). The judgement of this is one is actually one of the closest things to snap agro we have. During a normal pull, one should always have a seal of righteousness prepped to judge. Reason being...

a Judgement of Righteousness causes 564 Threat
an Avenger's shield will cause 1083 Threat on 3 targets
Holy Shield causes 718 Threat
and Consecration causes 1333 Threat over 8 seconds

That is to say on a normal pull and the 8 seconds after it, you have caused 1647 threat in that first second and an additional 1411 in the seconds immediately after. This is what we call "Front Loading" and is entirely essential for a paladin to get agro and hold it.

There are however many times where avenger's shield and Consecration are all you need initially and you can open up on the pull with our next seal instead.

SotC (Seal of the Crusader) One that I personally do not use much on short fights, but on long fights it is amazing. With the current assumptions of 250 spell damage, it adds an additional 40tps (threat per second) to your consecration, about 20tps with seal of Righteousness and an additional 67 threat on judgements of righteousness. Over time, this REALLY adds up.

As I said, I rarely use it for fights nowadays unless its a really long fight where you wanna front load damage without dps added in. (Prince or Curator for example) What I find I use more then that is our next seal

SoW (seal of wisdom)
For fights where you can not count on Spiritual Attunement keeping you in a mana lock. For example on trash pulls where you have all the threat you need, switch to a Seal of wisdom for a bit of mana return. Or when you are really in need of mana fast, judge it and re-up the seal for double the returns. This is pretty much a no brainer.

SoB (Seal of Blood)
What I theorycrafted before all this is assuming one thing, you have 250 spell damage. This is probably the safest bet to getting and holding threat in karazhan and gruul. But there is another path some choose to take, that is the path of blood. Instead of gearing up with paladin threat gear, they instead gear up completely with warrior gear and minimal paladin specific stats (int, spell damage spell hit etc) I personally never tryed this on a large scale, and do not think it is entirely viable past kara/gruul but it is an option.

The big thing with Seal of Blood is maximising your weapon damage, gearing much like a warrior does that. On average, with pre-kara gear expect it to do about the same as or just below threat as righteousness when just starting.
From my tests with it mathwise

normal swing with a sun eater as mainhand 171 threat
judgements for 676 threat

That is assuming of course you are completely geared for it, using a 41 dps spell damage threat sword WILL NOT work with SoB. But there are some serious downsides to this build. The seal itself is effected by melee mechanics,meaning melee hit/crit are what govern it, while the judgement is spell based. This does help a small bit because it means unlike righteousness, the seal proc itself CAN crit. But it also sadly means that the proc is counted as a second attack, meaning it can miss be dodged parried etc. If anyone ever read Efluvious' post on melee dps, parries=bad.

Also, with SoB it only scales to a point. Once past you are past the 250 spell damage point, SoR will steadily gain more and more benefit. That being because SoB only counts weapon damage and SoR counts in spell damage. Now, adding spell damage doesn't seem all that shiny, until you concider that SoR takes --73%-- of your spell damage into account. For any of you casters out there, you know that anything taking that much effect from spell damage is farking shiny. So SoR will quickly out damage and out threat SoB past t4 based entirely on that we do not have the talents in protection to further the weapon damage based threat progression.

Understanding the lil bits of each of these spells is only part of the tanking goal. The biggest part of our tanking part is managing these spells along with our Holy Shield and Consecration to maximise our staying power and threat production. You have to be prepared to switch and adapt as the situation requires while keeping an eye on the GCD and the duration left on your holy shield.


Resistance aura(fire frost shadow)
They all have their uses you will know exactly when to up it when going into the fight. I will not cover these to much because they are pretty much no brainers.

Devotion Aura
One of the mainstays for boss fights, it simply adds an additional 861 armor that was not there before. In basic terms it is not that great (about 1% more damage reduction) but that does add up occasionally. And when in a situation where AoE threat is not essential (single target fights) its better then the threat Retribution would give.

Retribution aura
Your general aura, it is by far the most valuable aura we have as a tank. It is basically a free reactive threat generator. On hit it does 26 damage, which comes to about 50threat per hit. On trash or in AoE fights this will add up to enormous amounts of threats very quickly.

The other auras are not going to be covered since I am concentrating mainly on tanking. Concentration aura does have its uses, for example I would switch into it for Hex Lord Malacrass in Zul'aman then asked to be grouped with non-instant healers(aka anyone but druids).

What stats?

Now one thing I did not cover right of the bat was stat expectations. Though in hindsight maybe I should have. I wanted people to get a general idea of what spells to use before throwing stats into play. I will not give a general idea of what to aim for...

Spell damage Spell damage=threat, therefor you want a lot a decent amount of spell damage. This however CAN NOT interfere with tanking stats. The solution to this, spell damage weapons. Since one of our main tanking seals relies only on the weapon speed, we can simply just pick up a spell damage weapon to cover the first 121+ chunk of spell damage. After that it is up to you where you add it. Ideally for karazhan you want to get between 200-250 spell and 250+ for gruul.

Armor Armor covers a huge chunk of the tanking (as it should). If you have to low armor, you are going to take more damage and therefore die a lot more often. The one point to aim for which is really quite easy is over 12k armor. This reason, at 11960 armor you are absorbing 50% of the damage. Adding more armor is ALWAYS a good idea, as our next hedge mark for it is 60% at 17940. Standardly run around 15k for best effect

Well...duh. Stamina is our health source and it is the one place we scale unexpectedly better then others. It is however slightly misleading, with our talents we gain 16% to our total stamina. This boost is an amazing scaling tool, bringing us up to the level as other thanks. We need every bit of stamina we can get as we initially start off with a lower health pool anyways. You want to aim for enough stamina to give 10k+ health at first. Best to have 12k for prince and around that.

Intelligence This is something that comes attacked to most pally tank pieces, but in all honesty we need relatively low amounts of it. I personally like having it, but in most cases it will get overlooked for stamina. I keep around 200 int personally. But that comes mostly form the fact I wear a lot of paladin specific armor IE: t4 prot spec.

Mitigation stats (dodge parry block defense) These are what make and break a tank. If you have low mitigation (or avoidance in terms of parry and dodge) then you WILL get hit and you WILL die. There are things to remember about this, they do follow a specific order. Dodge parry block in terms of how things are mitigated. You should keep around 20% block anything more then 25% falls to the side as the avoidance stats are above it. Parry is a great stat, but I never managed to find much of it. In general terms, I gear less for it anyways. Dodge however is your first avoidance and scales the best. Having more dodge is always a good thing.

The other I haven't talked about yet is defense, mostly because it effects all the above in a small amount. But also because it serves as the miss and crit reducer. With 490 defense you have a 6% chance to avoid any swing or crit. Since as of yet there is nothing in game that has a higher crit chance, then that you are immune to crit at that point.

Now the purpose above all that is to come to a total mitigation number. The purpose of this is the avoidance of a horrendous ability called Crushing Blows. Any mob 3 levels higher then you has a cnace to crush you, that is, any given attack has a chance to cause 150% damage. But when your total mitigation is at a certain point, you can effectively push it off the table.

That mitigation number is 102.4.

In order to achieve this, you add your Dodge%+parry%+block%+defense miss+innate miss(5%). Now you may say, omg there is no way that I can get to that point as a paladin. There is one thing you must concider. You have 2 abilities that increase your block percentage, redoubt and Holy Shield. The main goal, is to get these stats to work with having holy shield up. Mostly because you can not count on redoubt >_>

Hit rating In a recent patch, they changed the functions of our main agro puller (avenger's shield) and our taunt from spell hit to normal hit rating. This means that the chance to resist is now based on melee, so getting some of this is advisable. However it is a bit hard to find it and mix it in with other bits of your gear.

Spell hit As many have noticed, there is a recent influx of gear with spell hit. The purpose of spell hit for a pally tank is mostly agro gain talent. For anyone that has seen a JoR get resisted and someone pull agro, they know what I mean. Aoe wise, it helps greatly for your consecrate which oddly enough can be resisted on the first tick only. But that resist is enough for something to move out of the radius and is now a roaming add hurting healers. This will compensate a bit for that. As I stated before, it effects greatly the JoR which has the standard spell miss of every class. Getting a few resists in a row is a big loss of threat. We do have the option of switching to JoB for a few hits since JoB can not miss, but it also does not take advantage of our spell damage, so it is a toss up.

Protection Specs

There are several that are very popular right now. In all reality, its very very hard to deviate to far if you are going to be main tanking.


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The standard vanilla raid main tank. Covers everything you will need to main tank.

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A maintank variant, trades precision for the extra chance to resist spells from pursuit of justice. Personally I do not favor it, but everyone his own.

Off tanking

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Seen one or two people using variants on this general build. It mostly gives you what you need to aoe tank and off tank, with some stuff from holy to heal when you are not tanking. Seems logical enough, but never tryed it meself

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Another off tank variant that I have heard refered to as survivaldin. It gives you all the stam and most of the healing stuff you need. A lot of it is interchangeable, so goes on preference. I ran something similar to this when I was pvping so I could heal then switch to tank vandar.

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Heard of some doing this before, but never actually seen them in practice. It would be a high agro variant for 5maning or the like, but do not know how it would perform raid wise. Might be something to try when you do not need to be relied on.


Can we get some suggested Equipment? that would be nice I have been trying to find some myself and to me it seems like you can make a pretty good set from heroic badges rewards and the thrallmar exalted sword seem like they would be something to shoot for but I was wondering if anyone else had some suggestions about gear.
A bit delayed, but here is a suggested listing of gear to get for kara preparation. Will start with a full break down of the badge rewards. Recently updated for
stuff I forgot.

Badge Rewards:
[item]Libram of Repentance[/item]- can not state this enough, GET THIS FIRST!! This is the best tanking libram till tier 6.

[item]Sabatons of the Righteous Defender[/item]- Decent item but a bit limited use. I would take it for AoE tanking, but not as good as other boots for main tanking.

[item]Bracers of the Ancient Phalanx[/item]- Very decent set of bracers, you can never get enough stamina and expertise is something that we do not get much, but never ceases to help.

[item]Faceguard of Determination[/item]- Alright headpiece if you can find nothing better. I would (and do) prefer the t4 helm over this and if you are an engineer no reason why you should NOT be using your goggles.

[item]Girdle of the Protector[/item]- Same situation with the boots earlier, very good item but not neccesarily a main tanking item. Nevertheless I would use it if I could spare badges to get it

[item]Unwavering Legguards[/item]- One of the better pants you can get, gobs of stamina and block value. Has lots of block rating on it which tends to fill up fast but its not neccesarily bad, just not as good as if it were dodge

[item]Slikk's Cloak of Placation[/item]- Definetely a great cloak, I love this for main tanking.
Ring of Unyielding Force Decent backup ring, there are so very few that we can use.

Instance gear

[item]Spaulders of the Righteous[/item]- With most gear, you will need to focus on mitigation stats to fill out a tanking role. This is one of the few spots where you can actually fit in some needed spell damage. Just be prepared to spend a great deal of time farming for it

[item]Fanblade Pauldrons[/item]- A decent fall back item if you can get nothing better. The draw back, you need to run heroic crypts, an otherwise useless and very annoying heroic.

[item]Jade-Skull Breastplate[/item]-This was one of my favored items, relatively easy to get and it covers the gap of block rating rather fast. Also it has one of the highest stam values of any blue chest item.

[item]Timewarden's Leggings[/item]- One of the best pants you can get and actually one of the cheapest. It only takes a small bit of effort to get your CoT faction to revered and you can get these which will last you all through out kara. Also while there get your continuum blade.

[item]Aegis of the Sunbird[/item]- A decent starter shield, the block value will always come in handy. Keep this until you can get the shield off of Nightbane, or something of equal or greater value

[item]Felsteel Gloves[/item]- Gemmed properly these will help you close that initial health gap between pallys and other tanking classes.

[item]Strength of the Untamed[/item]- One of the best pre-kara necks you can get.

[item]Elementium Band of the Sentry[/item]- This is one of the best mitigation rings you will see in a long long time. Get this and keep it, do not get rid of it, you never know when it might become useful again.

[item]Flesh Beast's Metal Greaves[/item]- I know, funny that something from a quest out of mana-tombs would come back to haunt you. But these are the best boots you can get before kara for tanking. If you ran the quest, do not get rid of them.

[item]Felsteel Helm[/item]- Another item you can gem up to cover the health gap for pre kara

[item]Continuum Blade[/item]- This is the beginning tanking blade that everyone should have. The gobs of stamina on it and the spell hit help us in a great many ways.

[item]Sha'tari Vindicator's Waistguard[/item]- From the arcatraz key quest, this is the best tanking belt you can get before kara.

[item]Devilshark Cape[/item]- Forgotten in my original update, this is one of the best cloaks you can get, period. Slikk's was a good update, but used to be this would last you all the way to TK and beyond in most cases.

[item]Adamantine Figurine[/item]- A good starter trinket if you need the def cap. The other one close to this is dabiri's enigma, both good choices.

[item]Figurine of the Colossus[/item]- Absolutely awesome trinket, keep this always. There will be a point however where you will find yourself switching out trinkets for more stamina. At that point keep this one for AoE tanking/grinding. The use is pure genius.

[item]Darkmoon Card: Vengeance[/item]- Hard to piece together because everyone and his brother wants one. But they want it for a very good reason. YOu will be hard pressed to ever replace this.

[item]Cudgel of Consecration[/item]- Coming from MgT heroic, this is actually a very interesting item. Throwing a 12 sta gem in there brings it up to a health chunk of health and a decent bit of spell damage. Definitely there for those that can not get into ZA or SSC.

[item]Band of Determination[/item]- its a ring...with...expertise. If you can fill it in, get it. But will be hard to do so. Normal MgT

[item]Commendation of Kael'thas[/item]- I did not mention much about other trinkets earlier, but this is by and far the best trinket you could get right now. Huge amount of stamina and that proc, omg.

SSO badge gear
[item]Blue's Greaves of the Righteous Guardian[/item] More in the way of the new stat spread that we have been getting. Good for somethings bad for others, not necessarily boots for starters.

[item]Chestplate of Stoicism[/item]- A huge chunk of def on this piece is there to off set your spending for mitigations in other places at the cost of defense there. More in the line of what blizzard is gearing lately, I am not entirely sure of why they are doing it however. Good none the less, though very very close with the previous badge chest.

[item]Girdle of the Fearless[/item]- Hit rating and expertise. Its a belt to fill those gaps, nothing else. Personally I would hold off on this for a while.

[item]Inscribed Legplates of the Aldor[/item]- Excuse the phrase, but these are pure sex. Best itemization out of any badge items I have seen. Get these and throw the best gems and patch you can get on them. These will hold you until WoTLK.

[item]Shattrath Protectorate's Breastplate[/item]- Another relatively confusing piece. I do not think you will be able to effectively use this or the boots previously listed until you are set up in some very hardcore tanking gear.

[item]Ring of the Stalwart Protector[/item]- Simply stated, about darn time we get a usable ring. No def on the ring, but that dodge and the stam make up for it 10 fold.
To the idea of using the thrallmar sword, I know some have used it to great use, but I personally would not bother with it. The damage boost is nice, but we need more the just damage on the blade. I would still use the continuum blade over it sheerly because it has twice the stamina. Many would disagree, which I guess would leave it to a matter of opinion but figured I would get mine out there Smile
Yeah, Thrallmar is alright, but like Yaeth, I prefer the CB. I used both while gearing up Dromand, and always went back to the CB, mostly for the spell hit.

50 lashes for Yaeth for not mentioning the [item]Devilshark Cape[/item]. Dromand is still using it. Placation badge cloak is better, but I'd spend badges on leggings/chest before replacing Devilshark. Or, in my case, on the new 2.4 Isle of Quel'danas stuff first.

Just a few notes on gearing for a prot paladin:

When in doubt, go for more health. Gearing as a pally is harder than a warrior, since we need everything they do, plus spell damage and spell hit. You can go one of two ways with gear - avoidance, or health. A paladin has fantastic scaling with Stamina, thanks to our two talents and BoK, but you're still going to be the lowest-health of the tanking classes. You can try to balance this out with gemming for stamina and using stamina trinkets. Alternately, you can accept lower stamina, and gear for avoidance (+dodge, +parry, +defense). This makes you more susceptible to burst damage, however, so it's not the route I'd suggest if you're going to be MTing in a raid. For OTing and AOE tanking, it can work really, really well.

Keep trinkets and tanking gear you think you've outgrown around for a while. Most paladin tanks will build up a few "sets" of gear, typically a MTing one and a threat set (with more spell damage) for OTing. I think I've got 7 or 8 tanking trinkets to choose from, and I routinely use 5 or 6 of them, depending on the situation, and I'm keeping another few around just in case Wink

If you're clearing Kara, try to get [item]The Decapitator[/item]. It's a fantastic pulling weapon, and is much "safer" to use to pull than Avenger's Shield. A [item]Goblin Rocket Launcher[/item] is awesome as well.
Yah well, it was 6 in the morning and I couldn't remember all teh ubah loot >.>
Just one note, since this was something I just learned about myself. A while back, they changed Righteous Defense to work off +hit, rather than +spell hit. This means that +spell hit is only used for: first tick of consecrate, exorcism, and judgements. Avenger's Shield and RD are both +melee hit, so take +hit over +spell hit if you can.

If you're Aldor, [item]Shattered Sun Pendant of Resolve[/item] is fantastic. The +100 dodge proc is just great.


What does Scryers do??? *looks on with begging eyes*
Bloodbound Wrote:What does Scryers do??? *looks on with begging eyes*

The Scryer proc grants +100 expertise rating for 10 seconds.
Quote:Just one note, since this was something I just learned about myself. A while back, they changed Righteous Defense to work off +hit, rather than +spell hit. This means that +spell hit is only used for: first tick of consecrate, exorcism, and judgements. Avenger's Shield and RD are both +melee hit, so take +hit over +spell hit if you can.

This is true, when looking at the point of the main tank everything has been switched to hit (which I find hilarious). So having hit rating helps a great deal. But the purpose of all the spell hit is however still there, that being for aoe tanking and when you need a bit of extra threat. In a situation where you need to keep hold of large numbers of critters at once and fast (Hyjal, Dragonhawk tanking in ZA for two examples) a resist of the first tick of consecration is disastrous. Now I am not saying go out and load up on tons of it, because quite frankly it is still not that great of a stat for us. But it does have minor uses that should not be taken for granted.

Also I updated again to explain those two stats a bit.
And someone explain how you link items here >.< I feel like this damned tutorial has to many words and not enough plain example.
hehe, it's:

[ item ]The 2 Ring[ /item ] ( without any spaces inside the [] ) = [item]The 2 ring[/item]
Thank you soundy!! -hugs- now to updated everything
Here is something else juicy taken from on our threat gains. If you do not have this website bookmarked, might wanna take time to do so. It is one of the best sources for information on prot pally work that I have ever found. I place it above Elitist Jerks in value for our information

Quote:With the talent and itemization changes of 2.3, Tankadins are faced with more options than ever in terms of available stats to increase threat. I decided to take a look at the relative effectiveness of these stats in order to help Tankadins better make decisions about their gear. There are 4 stats worth mentioning when it comes to Tankadin threat: spell damage, spell hit rating, hit rating, and expertise rating. The threat effects of these are summarized as follows:

Spell damage -- increases the damage dealt by our spells (and healing done by heals, though this usually isn't relevant to tanking)

Spell hit rating -- reduces the frequency of "miss-resists" on spell abilities. The following abilities can be miss-resisted:

JoV 5-stack hit
Holy Shield

Hit rating -- reduces the frequency of melee attack misses, affecting both our white damage and seal damage (since misses do not proc seals). Averger's Shield and (as of 2.3) Righteous Defense misses are also reduced by hit rating.

Expertise rating -- reduces the chance for our melee attacks to be dodged/parried, having similar effects on our threat to hit rating. Does not affect AS/RD, but does reduce incoming damage slightly due to fewer parries.

Analysis of threat stats:

Spell damage: In a full threat rotation, 1 spell damage provides about .5 tps. The calculations have been done more extensively in other threads so I won't repeat them here, but if you want more information check out:

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Spell hit: For a very rough look at spell hit I will make the following simplifications:

-- 37% of our threat comes from miss-resistable spells (thus far parses indicate this number is about 35-39%)
-- These spells have a miss-resist rate of 17%
-- We have taken the 2.3 Precision talent

Given this set up, 1% spell hit will give us a .35*(.01/(1-.14)) ~= .41% increase in threat
Since 12.62 spell hit rating = 1% spell hit, a single point of spell hit rating would provide a ~.032% increase in threat. Thus, under these assumptions 1 spell hit rating = 1 spell damage at a threat output of about 1560 tps

Hit rating: The main assumption here is that white damage + SoR account for 35% of overall threat generation. We also assume 6% miss, 6% dodge, and 15% parry by the mob,, which includes precision.

Thus, 1% hit provides a .35*(.01/(1-.27)) ~= .48% increase in threat generation. 15.76 hit rating = 1% hit, so each point of hit rating provides a ~.030% threat increase. In other words, 1 hit rating = 1 spell damage at about 1660 tps

Expertise rating: Here the same assumptions will be used as with hit rating.

1 expertise is -.25% dodge/parry (.5% combined), which provides a .35*(.005/(1-.27)) ~= .24% increase in threat generation. 3.94 expertise rating = 1 expertise, so each point of expertise rating provides a ~.061% threat increase. In other words, 1 expertise rating = 1 spell damage at about 825 tps


In summary, taken solely in terms of threat, most Tankadins should prioritize threat stats in the following order:

spell damage > expertise rating >>>>> spell hit rating > hit rating

The general take home message is that our 2 primary threat stats are +damage and expertise rating. Hit rating and spell hit rating are nearly identical in terms of their threat contribution, but each is about half as effective as +dam or expertise rating. As a small editorial comment, note that if hit and spell hit were combined into a single stat, the resulting stat would provide a .062% increase in threat per rating point, almost identical to expertise (hint, hint Blizzard).

That these calculations are only done for single target tanking. In multi-target situations spell damage will dominate even more due to the huge role consecration plays in AoE threat.

There are other factors to consider of course: the mitigation value of expertise (which I haven't attempted to calculate), or the reduction in AS/RD resists from hit rating which may be desirable on certain fights. In general however, I would conclude that most Tankadins are actually best off ignoring all threat stats except for spell damage. If you happen to pick up the others that's fine, but I wouldn't go out of your way for them.

Thanks to the many active theorycrafters who provided data points and ideas for this, and especially to Joanadark for the info on miss-resistable skills and to kalbear and cordelia for crunching the numbers on the T6 content parses.
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