Theorycrafting TLDR: Protection Paladins (August 2010)

_We all know that forums like Elitist Jerks are where the top players go to share tips and work out tricks for insane DPS or amazing healing. But who has the time to read through all those massive threads?

MMO Melting Pot is on the case. We hack through the math so you don’t have to.

This week, we’ll be looking at the latest thinking in Protection Paladin theorycrafting and general tips, courtesy of top pallie theorycrafting site Maintankadin.

So what’s been going on in discussions in the last few weeks?

  • Did you know that Righteous Defence automatically targets the target of a mob? Yeah, me neither. Apparently, macros are unnecessary, because if you cast Righteous Defence on a mob, it automatically targets the mob’s target. Nifty.
  • [pullquote]The general conclusion is that slow DPS weapons are better for threat by roughly a full tier over normal-speed tanking weapons. What you give up is some avoidance and stamina. If you’re not dying, by all means go slow DPS weapon.[/pullquote]There’s some interesting discussion of the utility of slow weapons which would traditionally be considered DPS weapons, rather than fast tank weapons, to overcome the problem of tank threat scaling against DPS. Here’s some very useful tips on enchanting a tank weapon (aimed at slow DPS but useful to anyone). The original thread on the subject ends up with the conclusion that if you’re doing Heroics or non-progression raids (basically anything but Hard Modes), you’ll probably want to equip a slow DPS weapon in favour of an avoidance weapon (partially due to the 30% ICC buff). The “failsafe gearing guide argues strongly in favour of equipping Strength librams and a 2.6 speed DPS weapon to counteract problems with threat, particularly in ICC.
  • Not terribly recent, but the legendary Theck has been doing some hardcore number crunching on TPS (threat per second) on trash, and his conclusion is: by far your most important stats on trash are Expertise and Hit. Go for the soft expertise cap (24) and the melee hit cap (which is only 197 or 6% on trash). Useful to know if you’re tanking a lot of Heroics in particular!
  • Extreme hardcore theorycrafting (seriously, it uses “Time-homogeneous Markov chains with finite state space.”) has proved that in most circumstances Blade Ward sucks for pallie tanks compared to Mongoose. Get Mongoose unless you’re running a very high ratio of dodge to parry (before you take Chill of the Throne into account), and even then, Blade Ward will only pull ahead under rather specific circumstances and only on avoidance.
  • I’ve been seeing pallie tanks around doing insane DPS in heroics recently – turns out that it’s a result of an ongoing discussion about a “maximum DPS” tanking spec. If you want to do upward of 6k DPS in Heroics and make the DPS very very jealous, it looks like this 0/51/20 spec is the way forward. So trying that out. And that’s all for this week! We’ve learned a new way to use a core ability, swapped our weapons out for better threat, and spammed the DPS meters – a job well done.

    This was the first of these columns – how useful did you find it? And what class should we cover next week?