Posted tagged ‘spells’

Aura Mastery

March 20, 2010

There’s a lot of things in game, things about my paladin even, that I don’t really stop to think about. Every time I feel like I know my paladin, I discover stuff that I’ve been taking for granted, that I never stopped to wonder if it’s right or wrong.

Aura Mastery is one of those things.

The part about “improve the effect of all other auras by 100%” leads to confusion. Does it affect all other auras that are currently up, or just any aura the paladin casting Aura Mastery happens to have up?

For example, say I have Shadow Resist Aura up and my pally friend has Fire Resist Aura up. I cast Aura Mastery. Will we get a bonus on both Shadow and Fire Resistance or only on Shadow Resistance?

I’ve sorta asked myself the question before. I did a quick search through various guides, but found no answer. Instead of testing it like I should have, I just shrugged it off and forgot about it.

Then yesterday I came across this thread at Plus Heal, where Vine states that Aura Mastery only affects the Aura the casting paladin has up. It reminded me of my past inquiries, so I decided to give it a try.

I tested with a few different paladins. I picked one aura, they picked another. With my character tab open, I hit Aura Mastery.

Sure enough, the stats from my aura increased, but the stats from the other paladin’s aura did not.

So the question revisited:

For example, say I have Shadow Resist Aura up and my pally friend has Fire Resist Aura up. I cast Aura Mastery. Will we get a bonus on both Shadow and Fire Resistance or only on Shadow Resistance?

The answer is: Only on Shadow Resistance.

(Of course, as I go to write this post I discover that both Wowhead and Wowwiki have the answer, but still, nothing like checking it out for yourself.)

What this means in practice

In a fight where Aura Mastery is needed, the paladin(s) with the talent (typically the holy paladin(s)) should be running the aura targeted by Aura Mastery.

Side note about Concentration Aura:

The 3.1 Patch notes read: “Aura Mastery: Now grants anyone affected by Concentration Aura immunity from Interrupt and Silence mechanics”

The spell description in the tool tab (the image at the top of this post) specifies the casting paladin’s Concentration Aura is needed for the silence immunity effect but the patch notes seem to be contradictory. I couldn’t figure out how to properly test this (I don’t know anyone with a horde character willing to silence without killing a pair of paladins for the sake of research.), but judging from how Aura Mastery affects other auras, until someone corrects me, I’m going to assume that the casting paladin’s Concentration Aura is required for the silence immunity effect.

It’s raid time…do you know where your cleanse button is?

February 22, 2010

Until the mechanics of ToC’s Faction Champions were uncovered, it was, let’s face it, a very, very annoying fight. Even after we learned how it worked, I remember a few nights of hearing the guys curse and swear on vent. But, for all its annoyance, it taught us PvP-illiterate paladins one important lesson: the power of Cleanse.

Oh, I knew Cleanse was in my spellbook. Sometimes I even had it on my bars! I think I may have used it before… You know, during those fights where the raid leader included in his pre-fight explanation: Paladins! Look for Icky-Debuff-of-Crap and dispel it!

But it wasn’t until Faction Champs that I truly became one with my Cleanse button. Suddenly I had to switch the spell to an easy binding. Suddenly I was training myself to instantly react to debuff icons on my frames. Seasoned PvPers are probably snickering right now, but to a PvE paladin, dispelling is very rarely a priority. Faction Champs was novel in that it demanded quick dispels and lots, lots of dispels.

Upon graduation from Faction Champs school, I noticed a change in my playstyle. While dispels aren’t as important in other PvE fights, there’s still plenty of opportunity to make use of my #5 mouse button. Lady Deathwhisper, the trash in ICC’s Blood wing, Blood Princes… Even outside of raids, I now find myself dispelling in 5 mans, or during quests. When I play my alts, I miss dispelling. I hit my dispell mouse button and I panic when it doesn’t work.

When I watch new holy paladins play, neglect of their Cleanse is one of their major “need to improve” points. Which is a shame, because Cleanse often makes healing easier, allows you to keep being useful while moving and, yes, helps you suck less at PvP.

So for all the paladins not in touch with their Cleanse, here are the 3 easy steps to Cleansing bliss.

Step 1 – Set your raid frames to distinguish Cleansables and not Cleansables

I use Grid and have it set up to show the icons of Magic, Poison and Disease debuffs in the middle of a character’s frame. Curse debuffs, which I have no power over, show up as a yellow square on the lower right corner. I’m told Healbot and Vudho have the same configuration options, so even non-Grid users can have settings like this.

On this picture you can see some of the Deathwhisper debuffs. While I don’t care whether a debuff is Magic, Poison or Disease, I like having the icons since they let me prioritize my dispels in PvP or other dispel intensive fights.

Step 2- Have an easy Cleanse binding

You don’t want to have to target someone, hit the cleanse button, target someone else and go back to healing. There’s no time for that! It’s bad enough that we have to deal with global cooldowns. We don’t want to waste another second targeting.

Keyboard purists, get a mouseover macro. Mouse healers, use an easy to remember binding. I have Cleanse as my #5 button, or alt-Right, depending on my spec and the mouse I’m using.

For you retribution and protection paladins soloing or in charge of dispelling yourselves, have Cleanse bound to your keyboard and auto-cast enabled (it’s in the game options!). Makes life so much easier.

Step 3- Hit the BGs

PvPers aren’t reading this. They don’t have to. (Maybe they are reading this and laughing at me right now but shhhh.) I can always tell if I’m grouping with PvPers who can dispel. What gives them away? The debuffs I’m waiting on don’t show up on my frames. Veteran PvPers are that fast.

For the rest of us, BGs are our learning playground. While Faction Champs is great for those who, like me, learn quite well under pressure, you don’t need to farm ToC every week to practice dispelling.

A favorite BG game of mine is in Arathi Basin. I find myself a Horde occupied node (Stables seems to be easiest for this) and assault it as a sole, lonely holy paladin. I then hop around in circles, cleverly alternating Cleanse, Consecration, Hand of Freedom, Divine Favor, Holy Shock and Infusion of Light instant Flash of Light. All the while I scream “YOU CAN’T KILL ME NANANANANA!!!!!”

It’s a lot of fun. You should try it sometime.

Is Cleansing just for healers?

Dispelling is a lot easier as a healer. After all, we do have our raid frames in our face. Plus, a Cleanse is a hiccup in a tanking or dps rotation. Us holys don’t really have a rotation. No rotation, no problem!

Still, if a debuff is significant enough and no one else can or will dispel, it pays, as a ret or prot paladin, to be able to dispel pronto and get back to mashing other buttons. Especially in this era of mass pugging with, um, idiots, being able to Cleanse is a huge asset when carrying a clueless group to your Frost badges.

And with that, I’m off to grind my IRL cleansing skills. Happy Cleansing friends!

Shared Topic: Class Spells and Misunderstandings – Paladin style

December 19, 2009

So far, it looks like I’ll be the only one taking part in this week’s shared topic, but it’s okay, I’ve never been all that good with sharing anyway. The shared topic (which probably isn’t going to be shared) for this week was suggested by Rilandune of A Rogue’s Tale and the original thread can be found on Blog Azeroth.

This is a topic I have planned for an upcoming piece. It happens far too often that players of another class simply do not understand your own class, and for that matter everyone elses. The classes within WoW are so dynamic that there is a large gap in understanding between those who play [insert class here] and everyone else who does not.

What 3 core abilities, be they spec dependent or core class spells, would you most like to see every other player know and understand? These could lead to better teamwork in PvP, or cleaner, more concise raiding environments where, for instance, everyone understands how the Hunter Misdirection works.

I’ve written in depth discussions about specific spells before, notably the Blessings, Divine Sacrifice and Beacon of Light. If you’re interested in the ins and outs of paladining, I suggest you check them out. I’m going to bend the topic a little because, lets face it, I never do things the way I’m supposed to. Still, when it comes to paladin spells, some things need to be said. Said, and sometimes beaten into people by my giant spoon. So here’s what I’m going to talk about: the use of my tanking shield, resurrecting etiquette and the darker side of blessings.

Things you (and me and them) can do with a tanking shield

A shield can be used to block, which decreases damage taken. You can also use it to bash enemies over the head, which damages and angers your victims. And if you have to, you can throw it from a distance to grab an enemy’s attention or to shut them up for a few seconds.

Not a tanking shield

Me: I can’t line of sight, could someone silence that caster for me?
Person X: Use your shield.
Me: *sigh*

What they say is true, if a pally tank does does their talents properly, Avenger’s Shield will silence for 3 seconds. On the downside, it also dazes whatever it hits, so chances are the silence will run out before those casters reach us. It’s also on a 30 second cooldown and takes up a lot of mana, which is sometimes an issue in a 5 man. Yes, it’s a great spell, but it’s not always available.

And just because I get asked this all the time, Block Rating increases a tank’s (or anyone’s, really) chance to block an attack and Block Value increases how much damage will be absorbed by a block.

How to Die and Be Rezzed Properly in 6 Easy Points

1- Really, you shouldn’t be pulling aggro (unless you’re the tank) or standing in bad looking things in the first place.
2- Paladins can’t battle rez. As long as we’re in combat, you’re not getting a rez.
3- If the rezzer in the party seems to be at least sort of aware of what’s going on, don’t ask for a rez.
4- If the rezzer has died and will need to run back, release and run back too. The rezzer isn’t below you in any way. If he has to run back, so do you.
5- Upon rezzing, sit down and eat. If the healer is busy drinking, then you should be busy eating. Don’t expect to be spoonfed health points.
6- Upon rezzing, thank the rebuffers. Don’t ask for buffs unless it’s really obvious they forgot.

Why do I always get so pissy when talking about rezzes? Anyway, moving on.

Be Patient about Blessings

If there’s more than one paladin in the party, it might take a few minutes to them to come to an agreement. We’re not like priests or mages who can just buff the whole raid with one click. (And if priests and mages sometimes screw up, then we’re allowed a break!) While the system is far from the headache it used to be, it can still be confusing to a new level 80 paladin, especially one who doesn’t have PallyPower or ZOMGbuffs installed. Personally, I discuss buffs (I’ll do kings, you do might) in party/raid chat at the beginning of a PuG so the others can see whats going on, but it doesn’t seem to be common practice.

Also, if you get battle rezzed, you’ll probably be given a temporary 10 minute buff. It’s ok. Most fights are shorter than 10 minutes and you’ll get a full buff after you’re out of combat.

Note that Blessing of Sanctuary (3% damage reduction) is a prot talent and must be given by a tank. Note as well that Blessing of Might and Blessing of Wisdom can be improved via talents points. These blessings are identical to a Warrior’s Battle Shout and a Shaman’s Mana Spring Totem, respectively, so a crappy version of either Might or Wisdom can be overwritten by the improved Battle Shout or Mana Spring Totem. In the future, when the Might given to you by the holy paladin disappears while there’s a dps warrior in the group, you’ll know why.

And there you have it

3 spellish things about paladins that I wish everyone knew. If there’s something you wish everyone knew about your class, there’s still a few hours left, feel free to join in on the shared topic. Despite what I say, I really don’t mind sharing…too much.

Divine Sacrifice in 3.3: What You Need to Know

December 12, 2009

It’s no secret, I love gimmicky spells and Divine Sacrifice (affectionately, DS) gives me my money’s worth. It got changed with 3.3 (I don’t like to think of it as nerfed) and the patch notes are, um, interesting, to say the least. I did play around with some math when the changes to DS were first announced, however further changes have outdated that post (WHICH I WILL NOT LINK) and I don’t think it’s worth fixing. What is worth doing, though, is compiling the important stuff for reference purposes. Because, you know, if it concerns paladins, then it’s important. (Duh!)

The changes that went live, copied and pasted from the patch notes, are as follows (skip this if you don’t care):

Protection
* Divine Guardian: This talent no longer increases the amount of damage transferred to the paladin from Divine Sacrifice. Instead it causes all raid and party members to take 10/20% reduced damage while Divine Sacrifice is active. In addition, the duration has been changed to 6 seconds, however the effect does not terminate when Divine Sacrifice is removed before its full duration.
* Divine Sacrifice: Redesigned. The effect of Divine Sacrifice is now party-only and the maximum damage which can be transferred is now limited to 40% of the paladin’s health multiplied by the number of party members. In addition, the bug which allowed Divine Sacrifice to sometimes persist despite reaching its maximum damage has been fixed. Divine Sacrifice will now cancel as soon as its maximum damage value is exceeded in all cases. Finally, damage which reduces the paladin’s health below 20% now cancels the effect early.

This left us with the following end result:

You better work you stupid picture that I spend tons of time cutting and pasting

What this means in plain English:

The damage redirected to the paladin by Divine Sacrifice is party-only, covers up to 30% of the party’s damage and maxes out at either twice the paladins health (assuming a full party) or when the paladin’s health is at 20%, whichever happens first.

When specced into Divine Guardian as well, hitting the Divine Sacrifice spell also offers a raid-wide 20% damage reduction for 6 seconds, regardless of whether or not Divine Sacrifice is canceled.

Also, while bubbling during Divine Sacrifice (Bubble Sac!) used to increase the damage redirected to the paladin beyond the paladin’s health cap, this is no longer the case. As a result, the spell is somewhat less effective, even within a party.


So what do we do with this?

Before I say anything else, I want to point out that Divine Sacrifice (DS – 1 talent point) and Divine Guardian (DG – 2 talent points) are connected and are respectively 10 and 15 points into the protection tree, meaning that a paladin will have to go at least 17 points into the protection tree to get full benefit from the spell.

Retribution paladins

Elitist Jerks has concluded that the DS/DG is not worth speccing into for PvE. DG is just too far down the prot tree and DS isn’t useful enough on its own. They recommended going up the holy tree for Aura Mastery when the urge for a utility spell strikes. PvP is a different story, with one point into DS being fine.

Protection Paladins

Theck from Maintankadin suggests getting the DS/DG talents and using the following macro to take advantage of the 20% raid wall without taking unnecessary damage:

#show
/cast Divine Sacrifice
/in 0.5 /script CancelUnitBuff(“player”,”Divine Sacrifice”)

Note that you might need an Ace2 addon to get the macro to work, but most players will have at least some addon installed with Ace2 included. There is an alternative macro, however you will have to hit it twice for it to work:

/cast Divine Sacrifice
/cancelaura Divine Sacrifice

Using Divine Sacrifice without canceling it immediately can also be a strategy for paladin tanks willing to spare their party damage, but it is best used while not main tanking something.

Holy Paladins

I haven’t found any buzz about recommended spec changes. I have been wondering whether many holy paladins would take advantage of the “nerf” do Divine Sac to move into a Holy/Ret spec for the extra crit, but it seems like everyone is sticking with their current specs. What can I say? We love our utility.

Raid leaders

Because of the party-only effect of Divine Sacrifice, placing paladins who use the spell for the party damage mitigation in separate groups is ideal. Alternatively, placing 2 or 3 such paladins in the tank group for extra CDs is another strategy.

The party effect of DS will cancel if the casting paladin’s health drops below 20%, so the paladin will have to bubble in order to get full benefit from the spell. The bubble cooldown is 5 minutes (barring tier bonuses) and DS has a 2 minute cooldown.

Anything to add bossy paladin blog person?

Now that DS can’t kill us, we can use it without bubbling and keep the spell on cooldown, which is very nice. It lets us fit it into our regular fighting so we don’t have to save it for special abilities or OMG ITS ALMOST A WIPE moments. The spell is more effective if we bubble, but I like the freedom of being able to adapt as needed. One can never be too flexible.

Also, I was looking at some post-3.3 raid stats. One of our ret paladins who is still specced into DS (but not DG) did do some reasonable mitigation (40kish) during a Deathwhisper fight. This isn’t the time or the place to compare the usefulness of DS and Aura Mastery in a retribution build, but there’s room for thought (unless the discussion already took place in the 200 pages of retribution discussion on EJ that I didn’t read).


Where can I find more information on this amazing topic?

3.3 Patch Notes: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/
Divine Sacrifice Spell on WoW Head: http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=64205
Divine Guardian Spell on WoW Head: http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=53530
Elitist Jerks Retribution thread: http://elitistjerks.com/f76/t68951-retribution_updated_3_3_a/#Talent_Options
Caer Morrighan’s 3.3 Retribution take: http://morrighan13.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/retribution-paladins-in-patch-3-3/
Maintankadin 3.3 spec thread: http://maintankadin.failsafedesign.com/forum/index.php?f=1&t=26864&rb_v=viewtopic
Rhidach’s takes on 3.3 for Tankadins:
http://rhida.ch/2009/12/10/the-definitive-divine-sacrificeguardian-macro/
http://rhida.ch/2009/12/08/patch-3-3-for-tankadins/


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