Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ulduar Paladin Checklist, Part I

So since Ulduar is out, I wanted to do a more comprehensive analysis of the gear out there along with detailing some of the reasoning behind my spec/glyphs/gemming. I wound up writing a long post so I'm going to split it up so it is more manageable to read.

Gems

I will be listing in order of preference from highest to lowest. I don't have the new epic gems included as they are not widely available at this time.



Blue Sockets - Best socket to gem with the prismatic JC only gems
  • Brilliant Dragon's Eye - 27 int, Keep in mind that you can only have 3 of these in a set of gear so if you already have 3 of them equipped, then look further down this list. (As of patch 3.2, the JC only gems will no longer be prismatic)
  • Dazzling Forest Emerald - 8 int/3 mp5
  • Timeless Forest Emerald - 8 int/12 stam, This gem can be better than Dazzling if you consider that Divine Sacrifice is capped by 150% of the paladin's max HP
Red Sockets

Yellow Sockets

  • Brilliant Autumn's Glow - 16 int, The best to gem with and if you don't care about the socket bonus (ex: 3 mp5), then gem as many sockets you can with this regardless of socket color.
  • Smooth Autumn's Glow - 16 crit, Unless your crit is really that low, I don't recommend this gem at all
  • Quick Autumn's Glow - 16 haste, With so much haste on Ulduar gear along with talents, we don't need to gem for haste. Once you hit 5-600ish haste, you are already around the "soft" haste cap and that is not very hard to accomplish via gear alone.
Meta Gem

  • Insightful Earthsiege Diamond - 21 int/chance to restore mana, Gives back the most mana even though the resulting int is less than the next meta gem in this list according to Elitist Jerks.
  • Ember Skyflare Diamond - 25 SP/2% int, Even though it gives the most int out of all the metas, the mana regen of the insightful is too good to ignore even when you take into account Divine Plea, Replenishment, etc.


Spec/Glyphs

Glyphs
For example, my spec for PVE purposes is different from my initial plan. Instead of going with Holy/Ret, I decided to go with Holy/Prot to benefit from Divine Sacrifice as I felt the damage mitigation was more important than the extra crit I would receive from the Ret tree. If you wanted to go Holy/Ret but with more mobility and crit, this spec might interest you.

Instead of going with the Divinity glyph, I use the FoL glyph so I can compensate for this loss of 5% crit from Ret though either glyphs are good choices in my book. Plus, with the change to IoL, I expect Holy Light to still see high critical chances. I didn't have to get Improved Blessing of Wisdom since the other holy paladin in my raid has it.

I have some points in Aura Mastery along with Improved Conc Aura but you can allocate those 4 talent points else where if you so wish such as in Improved Devo Aura like in this spec.


As of now, my 2nd spec is Holy PVP and it is quite similar to my PVE spec but with different talent points allocated in certain abilities. Spec here with the glyphs I plan to use.

Aura Mastery is quite fun to use too =) It's like my little turbo boost. Still trying to get the timing of this ability and that of Divine Sacrifice down. It's something I have to work on.

*Edit - 4/27/09* There are paladins apparently speccing deep Prot to heal as they benefit from stam-> SP conversion, shorter CD on bubble and get a cc in the form of a silence. I'm contemplating whether to spec this way though I would have to give up HS, which makes it unattractive to me. However, this spec may make healing paladins really freaking hard to kill, which explains its allure.

Though the popular Ret/Holy build has been dismantled with 3.1's advent, I tried to make one that was Holy/Ret if going deep holy or deep prot was not your thing for PVP. As for those that want to go deeper into Ret, this is what I came up with. I don't know if any of these alternative specs are very viable for arena but it would be nice to fool around with, don't you think?

Macros

I never got into the habit of using macros but here are some macros I plan on using while raiding. Mostly they just announce to the raid certain spells I am using or they combine 2 spells together, very simple. However if you combine a macro with a key bind or click then it can become very powerful tool when used right.

Divine Sacrifice (2 min CD, 10 sec duration) combined with Divine Shield (5 min CD, 12 sec duration):
#showtooltip
/castsequence reset=5 Divine Shield, Divine Sacrifice
/say
[insert your message here]

To let the raid know that Divine Sacrifice is active
#showtooltip
/cast Divine Sacrifice
/say [insert message here]

A simple res macro to coordinate rez-ing better
#showtooltip
/cast Redemption(rank 7)
/say Resurrecting %t

Macro to use Hand of Sacrifice combined with Divine Shield on a MT
#showtooltip Hand of Sacrifice
/target [insert MT's name here]
/castsequence reset=5 Divine Shield, Hand of Sacrifice
/raid Hand of Sacrifice on %t

You could also replace Hand of Sacrifice with Divine Sacrifice in this macro if you have specced into it. It is especially important to have Divine Shield up when Divine Sacrifice is activated since it is like a death sentence without it.

I don't have much in the way of macros but these few I do tend to use.

Anyway, look forward to Part II, which will be about gear.

Till next time!

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