While unlike the massive pally makeover that happened in Cataclysm there have been some significant alterations leading up to Mists. Paladins have a newly redesigned the talent system so that it is now based on player preference and situational usefulness. Players receive their core abilities automatically when selecting a spec, and talents serve to supplement different styles of gameplay. Oh and you can have up to five Holy Power.
Stamina is your bread and butter, as a tank, you need to have a large healthpool, there’s just no getting around that fact.
Hit and Expertise is the second highest priority (it’s actually the highest priority but not the attribute you need to increase the most, that’s stamina). You need to soft cap this at 7.5%. Once that’s done, forget about it.
Haste, Parry/Dodge Rating and Mastery are all equally important after this, with a slightly heavier emphasis on mastery as Divine Bulwark scales off it and leads to making you more durable.
Keep in mind that Parry and Dodge ratings have separate diminishing returns, and at some point it won’t be worth it to stack them (generally, you’ll want about twice as much parry as you have dodge). Finally, Haste will slightly increase your holy power generation due to Sanctity of Battle.
For single targets, our rotation revolves around trying to generate as much Holy Power and using it on Shield of the Righteous and Word of Glory to be more effective at tanking. Here is the optimal rotation to do just that.
- Use Crusader Strike and Judgment to generate Holy Power.
- Use Avenger’s Shield when Grand Crusader is procced to generate further Holy Power.
- Use Hammer of the righteous to maintain the Weakened Blows Debuff.
- Use Avenger’s Shield again, this time without the proc from Grand Crusader.
- Use Hammer of Wrath once the target is below 20% hp.
- Use Consecration.
- Use Holy Wrath.
- Use Seal of Truth as much as possible.
When facing multiple enemies the only things you need to change is using Hammer of the Righteous instead of Crusader Strike and Seal of Righteousness instead of Seal of Truth.
Talents are not so clear cut anymore, there are a lot of viable options at most trees:
All of these are movespeed bonuses, Long Arm of the law and Speed of Light provide big, temporary boosts while Pursuit of Justice is a smaller passive boost that scales with your holy power. I recommend you take Speed of Light as it’s the most reliable choice but it’s up to you to decide what you need.
I prefer to take Fist of justice here as it is probably be the best option. Choose which one would be more efficient for the situation, and repentance will give you a large window for situations where you need to back off and regroup.
The choice here is between Selfless Healer and Sacred Shield, choose the shield if you’ve already got a lot of healers in your raid.
All of these are viable but I prefer clemency as it lets me use my hands more often (yes I know how that sounded).
Divine Purpose wins the race here in terms of raw damage output but due to it’s random nature isn’t extremely reliable. Go for Holy Avenger if that puts you off.
At the final tier you should take Execution Sentence, as it seems to offer the most bang for your buck. You can take the others if you want some additional healing and AoE.