Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Pally Wall!

A lot of Paladins have overlooked one of the most interesting and unheralded changes to class mechanics, and I felt this worthy of a post; it's an old skill that used to be dumped to the spellbook as soon as its replacement came along, but now is a powerful skill in it's own right...

Divine Protection and Divine Shield are no longer on the same cooldown, so that they can be cast independently of each other. No, that's not the important change, but this was done because Divine Protection has a slightly different affect now; instead of giving you shorter term immunity and an inability to attack while active, it instead reduces all damage taken by 50% and the 100% increase to your swing timer that Divine Shield has (which will soon be, for both skills, -50% damage done).

What, still not a big deal? Well, here's the reason it actually is a big deal: 1) this gives you an extra bubble in between DS cooldowns (though a less powerful one, certainly), and 2) it gives you a shield wall.

Obviously, the reason you can't bubble while tanking is that when a mob detects you as immune, it backs off and kills someone else instead. That's bad. But if you only reduce damage taken, that mob is still hitting you. This is a massive boost to Paladins of all stripes, as we all end up with mobs hitting us at some point, and many of those times we'd rather them hit us than a squishy. In those situations, or in situations with a bubble on CD, we can now make use of Divine Protection again; it's no longer simply the precursor to Divine Shield. Those 12 seconds of DP give you the mitigation of a tank and can easily mean the difference between a difficult victory and a wipe.

Of course, keep in mind the forbearance rules, as you don't want to lock yourself out for 2 minutes from casting the main bubble if its up in 10 seconds and you can survive anyways. But with this around, you may very well be able to keep Hand of Protection around solely for use on party members.

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