Yeah, I know, everyone and their dog has already posted this. TBH, this post if for one reason only...
Hate to say I told you so Josh :P
* Blessing of Kings – this spell is now a base ability trainable by all paladins.
* Exorcism – this spell now causes damage to all types of enemy targets. However, it always critical strikes undead or demon targets. This change should make sure paladin damage doesn’t drop when going from Naxxramas to later tiers of content.
* Shield of the Templar now causes your Avenger’s Shield and Shield of the Righteousness to silence targets for 3 sec. The old damage bonus of this talent has been folded into Holy Shield, Avenger’s Shield, and Shield of the Righteousness.
* Ardent Defender, Improved Hammer of Justice, One-Handed Weapon Specialization and more have had their ranks reduced.
* Guarded by the Light – no longer reduces the mana cost of shield spells, but now has a 50/100% chance to refresh Divine Plea duration.
* Judgements of the Just – now also reduces the cooldown of Hammer of Justice by 10/20 seconds and increases the duration of the Seal of Justice stun effect by 0.5/1 second.
From Yesterday's post:
* Since paladins rely less on Spirit as a mana-regeneration stat, we have to address them in other ways. We don’t want to change Illumination or Replenishment. However, we are going to increase the healing penalty on Divine Plea from 20% to 50%. Divine Plea was originally intended to help Protection and Retribution paladins stay full on mana. It should be a decision for Holy paladins, not something that is automatically used every cooldown.
* In addition, we are also changing the way Spiritual Attunement works. In situations with a large amount of outgoing raid damage, as well as in PvP, this passive ability was responsible for more mana regeneration than we would like. We want to keep the necessary benefit it grants to tanking Protection paladins, while making it less powerful for Holy paladins in PvP or raid encounters with a lot of group damage.
Kings to Baseline. Thank goodness for that, it really was the only sane choice. The only question will be just what replaces it in Tier 1 Protection and whether or not Ret will be tempted to grab it.
Exorcism being usuable against all targets is a very interesting one. I was in the process of drafting a post about how the Ulduar raid could be a problem for Ret DPS due to the abscence of Exorcism, Holy Wrath and the Sense Undead glyph and it's actually nice to trash that one. It also provides for an interesting possible secondary effect for CS - Chance to refresh your Exorcism cooldown, but more importantly it also gives Holy a much needed mana dump for damage. Glyph of Exorcism will be an absolute stone-cold cert for first chosen in PvP - 2 seconds of interrupt on a 15 second cooldown? Yes please!
Shield of the Templar allows Prot some significant control against casters, though Silence effects are always a potential issue due to immunities. Linking it to Avengers Shield and Shield of Righteousness is an interesting choice as it has the potential to really screw with casters in PvP. Throw in Seal of Justice and pocket Prot becomes a real PITA :D.
Speaking of Seal of Justice, just when you thought they'd forgotton the spell completely it once again rears it's head. It's linked to Judgements of the Just which is a strange choice that deep in the tree, making me think it's yet another PvP bone being thrown at Prot. But what a bone - random stun proc plus a much shorter HoJ cooldown. However with the existence of this talent it's much more likely that Imp. HoJ will reduce in effectiveness significantly, down to -20 or even -10 seconds. Even I can admit that a 20 or even 10 second HoJ cooldown would be overpowered.
Does Protection need more Mana regen? Tough to say really, but the increased mana regen from Guarded By The Light would make off-tanking without high incoming damage significantly easier. Chalk this down as a talent I'm simply not sure about, probably because of my lack of tanking experience. Ret would probably murder small fluffy animals for it though ;).
Finally a lot of talent bloat, in the form of Imp. HoJ, Ardent Defender and One-Handed Spec amongst, will be reduced. Worries will be abound as to just how much the talents' effectiveness will be increased/reduced but a judgement on that will have to wait on the a PTR. Collapsing these talents into one for the 11pt talent could be an option.
Gosh, Baring the hit to Holy via DP and SA no nerfs announced. How refreshing. There is still no concrete word on the 11pt talent and no real idea what will replace BoK in Tier-1 Prot but nonetheless plenty to chew on. The devil is in the detail but there is nothing there to be too worried about and quite a bit to feel optimistic about.
Roll on the PTR I say, and some Holy love!