March 6, 2009

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR build 9658 Paladin changes

So the new PTR build dropped, and it doesn't look very pretty for Holy Paladins. Before we get into the grim side of things, it looks like Aura Mastery has been made baseline. Does this mean a new talent will be popping up in the Holy tree? That seems likely, but don't bet on it yet. Now on to the bad stuff...


Sacred Shield - Cannot be on more than one target at any one time.

Ouch. So much for raid damage mitigation. Back to single target healing, the lot of you!

Infusion of Light - No longer has a chance to reduce the casting time of Holy Light, but increases the the critical chance of your next Holy Light by 10/20% instead.

Double ouch. This seems to be a PvP nerf to me, and others are crying out the same on the forums. Without addressing it directly, Ghostcrawler states that "several of those changes were made for PvE reasons". He was, of course, referring to Sacred Shield , considering that one of Blizzard's concerns was the increasing number of mitigation abilities going into Ulduar. Losing half-a-second Holy Lights will be severely palpable to Holy Paladins in Arenas.


Hand of Sacrifice - Lasts 12 sec or until the caster has transfered 100% of their maximum health.

This is another effective nerf although will scale excellently with Protection Paladins. It's just not as effective when used by other specs, and seems to be part of Ulduar tuning which seems to be toning down mitigation abilities.

Targets affected by Divine Shield, Hand of Protection or Divine Protection can no longer be affected by any of these spell for 2 minutes. (Down from 3 minutes)

We're probably never going to see Forbearance return to one minute, but at least Blizzard seems to realize that three minutes is just plain silly.

Divine Sacrifice *New Talent* (Tier 3) - 30% of all damage taken by party or raid members within 30 yards is redirected to the Paladin (up to a maximum of 150% of the Paladin's health). Instant, 2 min cooldown.

Finally, some good news! This is an extremely attractive talent to pick up and oddly seems counter to the whole mitigation ability nerfs. Coupled with Divine Guardian, this translates to a 60% damage soak albeit scaling with health. Considering it affects all party or raid members, that cap will be reached rather quickly during those 'oh $#!+' moments and looks very attractive for PvP, as well. So much love going Protection's way in Patch 3.1, it almost makes up for Holy going through the crapper. Almost.

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