Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Prot-Ret, the New Prot-Holy?

Prot-Holy was nerfed significantly with the justification that Paladins healing in PvP should be taking Holy talents, not Prot talents. This has been reinforced with the recent change to Sacred Shields' baseline effect and placement of 'Imp. SS' deep in Holy, though it strikes me as being ass-backwards as far as development decisions go. The knock-on effects are inevitable and have been brushed off by Ghostcrawler under the excuse that Ret is 'too tanky'.

*cue laughter*

I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone, even in 3.0, say that Ret was too durable. Too bursty, definitely, but never too durable. The last time I can remember anyone bring out that old chestnut was in Vanilla, levelled against the whole class even as it underperformed in PvP and players needed an atlas to find their interrupt (as well as their asses). Indeed, the 'Three Lives' comment has yet again returned at a time when Bubble-breakers have never been more prevelent, and by GC no less. You might be under the misapprehension that a class which needs three lives to down an equally geared adversary has greater issues than these cooldown, I know I am. But I digress.

With Ret's durability being nerfed and burst no longer being the be-all and end-all in Arena PvP Prot+Ret has started making an appearance. The idea seems to be that burst damage is still 'okay' but control is generally better, to the extent that it's more competitive in group PvP. Also, the spec is obviously a hell of a lot more durable than Ret in 3.2 and even more so in 3.3 as SS and hence its' synergy with AoW+FoL is being nerfed.

Mana could be something of an issue even with talented Divine Plea, but look at what you could get.

  • Avengers Shield - A Ranged Snare or Silence on a 30sec cooldown that deals plenty of damage.
  • Ardent Defender - loads of damage reduction, passive self-rez and expertise
  • 30 Second Hammer of Justice to make up for a lack of Repentence.
  • Damage Reduction up the wazooli, including magical damage reduction and party damage reduction/redirection
  • A significantly larger Hit Point pool.


  • In 3v3 Arena team Ret's light is declining, as evidenced by the latest SK-100 leaderboard which has Zero (0) Rets. If you still want to play your Paladin in an even slightly offensive role Prot-Ret could be a strong alternative to Ret. Heck, if you want to give it a try all you need is 50g for a respec and a good Sword+Board, though eventually Block Value gear is going to start ot look tempting.

    Tentative 53/18 Build, Inc. Glyphs.

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    N.B. I'm not to blame if Prot is nerfed following this post. Really.

    5 comments:

    Will Armstrong 03/11/2009, 21:42  

    That's actually pretty close to my PVP Off-spec now. I was tired of going in as Ret and basically getting ROFLStomped, especially since my main spec is for raid tanking.

    With a fast on-hand DPS weapon and Seal of Justice on, I'm pretty much an obnoxious un-killable stun machine, and after 2 or 4 run-ins with me, most people in BGs just run past or head to a different objective. It's the most paladin-like I've ever felt in PVP.

    Faust 03/11/2009, 22:57  

    Why not take 2 of the points from Conviction and put them into Sanctity of Battle? The +crit is identical, and you pick up +10% Exorcism damage. Alternately, those points could go into Crusade for more constant damage, or Eye for an Eye to make you a bit more 'tanky'.

    The Renaissance Man 04/11/2009, 00:26  

    I actually run a cleave style 5s team as a fully pve geared and specced Prot tank. We're pushing 1700 right now. One thing I've found to be invaluable is Divine Sacrifice, which can be used as a groupwide 30% damage reduction against other cleave comps. That combined with hand of sacrifice, hand of freedom, hand of protection, and the proclivity of a team to panic when someone rolls right up and smashes their healer in the face with stuns and silences, frees up a lot of my teamates from the annoying pressures of having to take damage.

    Anonymous 04/11/2009, 01:26  

    Yeah, Prot+Ret can be a viable combination. You can still get quite a bit of DPS out of it, especially if you gear well for the combination. A friend of mine has been doing this as his choice for a long time, and it's surprising how much damage you can squeeze out of it...it's pretty competitive. Add this to being significantly more survivable, and you've got a solid PvP choice. It's even enough DPS for casual PvE use.

    Anonymous 07/11/2009, 18:17  

    Just wondering.... I went back and leveled my pally from 2005 and had hoped to play a holy/prot spec or basically, a survival PvP healer. With the current changes to the 18/53/0, is it still a decent healing spec?

    My hope was to have a PvP and a PvE healing spec as to avoid the problem of having to get healing and DPS gear.

    What do you all suggest?

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