WoW Patch 4.3: Quick-Start Guides for EVERY spec and class

by on November 29, 2011


Stagger, stagger, Patch 4.3, mutter, mutter, thud.

Long-term readers may well remember that about six months ago I half-killed myself attempting to write guides for every single spec and class for Patch 4.2. Well, I’ve done it again.

You’ll probably know that it has historically been rather hard to find information for many classes after a WoW patch, and often for weeks to come. Some classes have information, but it’s in huge walls of text. Others simply languish for weeks with nothing but obscure forum threads. Here at MMO Melting Pot, for two patches now, we’ve been trying to fix that problem.

Thus, I present for your delight and delectation – a Quick-Start guide for the new WoW Patch 4.3 for every single spec, class and role in the game. They include updated “What’s Changed in 4.3” sections at the start of the guides, as well as links to further resources, and of course complete, quick recommendations for ability use, spec, enchants, glyphs, and stat priorities.

I hope you find this useful, and please do consider sharing it! In the meantime, after 14 straight hours of theorycraft and writing, I’m off to lie down somewhere dark!

Tanks

Healers

DPS

These guides aren’t meant to be detailed discussions a la Elitist Jerks – they include links at the end to more detailed guides as I found them. But they’re meant to be a quick start go get you up and running after the patch, or after a spec change, or with a new character.

Obviously, there are going to be typos, mistakes, and so on. I’d really appreciate it if you could let me know about those in the comments for each article if you find them!

Ok, enjoy! I’m going to go collapse now.

Please do Tweet, Like, +1 and share these guides on your blogs!

If you enjoyed this article, check out our other posts from these categories: World of Warcraft

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Malevica November 29, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I somehow missed these the first time around, I wasn’t really raiding as much at the time, but I’m definitely going to be bookmarking them this time.

It’s always great to have somewhere to go for a quick “what do I need to know, right now, to pick up my and not suck” guide, so thanks for the effort that went in to making them!

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Hugh Hancock November 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm

@Malevica – Cool! I’m glad you’re finding them useful!

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Pliers November 30, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I saw your post about ret paladins last time around and disagreed with a lot of what you wrote. Reading it a second time makes me :|

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Pliers November 30, 2011 at 6:31 pm

@Pliers

Looking through it and replying off the top of my head:

Blessing of might’s increase from 10% ap to 20% ap is not a 10% damage buff. A better estimate would be roughly 7%, since it’s only a 9% (going from 110% to 120%), and weapon base damage is a sizable contribution to our damage.

2pc T13 moves Judgement up in the prioritization, but based on current opinions, it is still behind DP-TVs. There also is apparently a very large delay in its generating of HP, which will make your HP generating harder to follow.

Breaking your 4pcT12 *will* change your ability usage somewhat, in that you want everything to be active during Zeaoltry, and will not be refreshing inquisition with your first 3 HP like you should be with a 35s Zealotry.

For your prioritizations:

“Top Priority”: You have to use CS to cast Inquisition, so saying “Use CS if it is off CD and Inq is running” is flawed. CS is always first priority. Also, only use CS if you aren’t at 3 HP.

“Second/Third Priority”: Hammer of Wrath should be listed last. It’s behind CS, TV, AoW Exorcisms, and Judgement with 2pcT13. For filler, DP-TV > 3 HP TV > Exo > HoW > HW > Consecrate. Judgement is after HoW without 2pcT13, and is before Exorcism with it.

You’re listing the priorities out of order, and lumping them together as if the choices are equal. They’re not, at all.

For AoE, you also want to swap to seal of righteousness if the targets will be alive for any significant length of time.
On 2 or 3 targets, you stick with Seal of Truth and CS, but you will want to swap targets to keep SoT’s dot ticking on as many mobs as possible (again, only if they are going to live for a while).

Under Stats, you have Hit and Expertise *after caps* being valued higher than anything other than strength. They’re worthless post cap (outside of expertise being half-useful when standing in front of a mob). Mastery is better than crit, not equal to it, and crit and haste are arguably equal to each other, though it’s generally better to put crit slightly out in front.

For Gems, you want to use a hybrid gem if the bonus is 10str or 20 mastery/hit/expertise per socket.

Your enchant on feet should almost always be Mastery, because you can reforge into hit elsewhere without sacrificing mastery to do so.

For Major Glyphs, Ascetic Crusader, Divine Protection and Holy Wrath are the go-to choices (obviously Holy Wrath is only useful on some fights, but is immensely helpful when it is). Consecration’s glyph is absolute trash.

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Antigen November 30, 2011 at 7:10 pm

@Pliers – I can second everything Pliers has said here. Please feel free to update your ret guide with this info. If nothing else, at least remove the part about priority tiers and replace it with our actual filler priority list.

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Hugh Hancock November 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

@Pliers@Antigen – Thanks very much for the detailed critique, guys. I’ll look through it tomorrow and make appropriate changes.

I’ll say now – I have NO idea how Hit and Expertise came to be listed as useful after cap. That’s getting changed right now.

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Pliers November 30, 2011 at 8:11 pm

@Hugh Hancock
Thanks :)

You do a lot of good on this site, and your promptness in trying to fix the details helps show that. If I came across as antagonistic, it was a byproduct of trying to correct the information, so that it can serve as a proper guide for people.

Keep up the good work!

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Libby December 1, 2011 at 8:40 am

Brilliant work..great patch…
Cheers
Libby

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Hugh Hancock December 1, 2011 at 11:56 am

@Pliers – Right, I’m getting into these Retridin corrections…

2T13 putting J behind DP-TV – what’s your source/math for that? I’m seeing EJ silent on the subject and the MMO-Champ thread seems to come down narrowly on the side of J > DP-TV.

4T13 – agreed, it does change things. Correcting. Why not refresh Inq?

Crusader Strike/Inq – I agree, that was worded badly. Correcting.

Filler priorities – what’s your source for this, again? Sorry to ask, but it differs radically from EJ’s recommended rotation, which is Inq > CS > HoW > Exo > TV > J > HW > Cons under most circumstances.

Stats – Yes, you’re completely right there. I can’t believe I wrote such obvious bollocks :)

Gems – again, EJ recommends differently, but I’d be interested to see your reasoning/source.

Feet enchant – Agreed.

Glyphs – I’m uncomfortable about recommending DP under all circumstances (since it changes the ability so much). I’m open to persuasion on Consecration, but my current knowledge of the state of the art suggests that it’s at least worth considering – I’m not seeing any other “don’t use this ever” recommendations out there (for Ret at least – Prot, obviously, it’s awful.)

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Hugh Hancock December 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm

@Pliers – A note on why I’ve not written the priorities as a conventional prio list: personal experience and knowledge of teaching theory tells me that an 8-item list is a bad way to teach people who need to learn quickly (and these are, after all, Quick Start guides). An 8 item list is more than a normal human’s memory can easily and immediately hold without resorting to memory palaces or other systems most people don’t use.

The three-tier system is designed to get people going with a rotation that’s 95% of the way there and is easier to remember, rather than forcing them to ALT-TAB back and forward between this guide and WoW for the first week or so.

After that, when they’re seriously optimising their rotations, that’s when I’d recommend checking out the links at the bottom of the article, starting to look into simming and so on.

Having said all that, I agree the way that the priorities were worded was unclear, and I’m happy to move things around or even add one more tier if you show me there’s a significant DPS reduction from the recommendations I’m making now. Feel free to throw simmed numbers at me!

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Antigen December 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm

@Hugh Hancock -

4T13 – With the 18% damage increase the Zealotry for this set bonus, it makes sense that we want to convert every bit of HP gained during Zealotry into direct damage, otherwise it you won’t get the full benefit of the set bonus. Popping Inquisition immediately before hitting Zealotry via a lucky Divine Purpose (or even a few seconds before the old-fashioned way) would ensure that Inquisition is up for the full duration.

Filler priorities – With the nerf to Sanctified Wrath, the average damage from HoW should be less than the combined damage of Templar’s Verdict and the resulting Hand of Light. I don’t have a source for this because I don’t have the time to look right now, so some solid numbers here would be good.

Gems – http://elitistjerks.com/f76/t110342-retribution_concordance_4_3_voice_dps/#Gemming_and_Enchanting

“Mid/late T12: A +20 Mastery Rating bonus or a +10 Str bonus becomes worth a single hybrid gem. This includes both Str/Mastery and Str/Hit (allows better reforging).
T13: Many items have 3 gems, thus +30 bonuses. A single hybrid to meet this requirement should uniformly be advantageous.”

Glyphs – Divine Protection, in my opinion, is the best major glyph we have. Most (if not all) raid damage we take is magic-based. Let’s look at the previous tier and the uses for a glyphed DP:

Shannox: Spear damage, Immolation traps
Rhyolith: Anytime the stacking volcano damage gets really high, also phase 2
Beth’tilac: Ember Flare
Baleroc: Shard tanking
Alysrazor: Brushfires, Blazing Buffet, tornadoes
Majordomo: Orb tanking, Flame Scythe
Ragnaros: Hand of Ragnaros, Wrath of Ragnaros, when someone pops a Magma Trap, Seed AoE damage

This list can go on, and this is all magic damage. I would say DP comes close to being a mandatory major glyph due to its massive usefulness.

Consecration’s glyph is lackluster at best, since we hardly use Cons (especially with increasing haste to proc more AoW-Exos as fillers). There are much better options.

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Hugh Hancock December 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

@Antigen – Thank you! This is superbly useful, and thanks very much for taking the time to write it.

I’m going to downgrade HoW for now until we see some solid theorycraft numbers (I sound like a stock analyst or something). Thanks very much for the explanation on 4T13, and the cite on gems – not sure how I missed that.

Divine Protection – thinking about it some more, I see your point. I’m going to reverse my recommendation to say “don’t take it if you know you’ll be taking physical damage”.

I have a soft spot for Cons in dungeons, but in raids, I agree, there are better options.

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Antigen December 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm

@Hugh Hancock – Not a problem, thanks for the hard work!

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Pliers December 1, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I wrote most of this before reading Antigen’s reply, but he’s right on the money.

The source for 2T13 putting J behind DP-TV is in the EJ thread, but buried on some random page. I assumed J would come first, but was outmatched and outmathed by someone early in the PTR cycle. Turns out, logic is no substitute for simming.

4T13 – you’ll want Inq up before Zealotry, so you don’t waste 18% damage (and 20% from AW, and potentially pot/heroism/GoAK) on Inquisition when it could have been a superpowered TV.

EJ’s priorities are imperfect. That is to say, they’re situational. And with HoW’s nerf, it’s very low on the totem pole. Losing 54% crit comes out to losing 1/3rd of its damage. It’s simply not powerful enough to prioritize ahead of other abilities anymore.

EJ actually ends up coming around to my line of logic on the gemming. It only applied if you were in high end T12 gear, but heroics and LFR are giving you that quality loot now, so it’s pretty much universally applicable now. That said, the BoM buff actually makes strength better, so it’s still really close. You won’t lose more than a few dps either way.

Honestly, DP being glyphed is never problematic. Some classes have no damage reduction at all, so it’s unlikely to cause problems for you to not have one for physical damage. When the attack is physical, we are using plate, and thus take less damage than others. When it’s magical, 40% is amazing. Also, it’s usually the spell damage that kills you. A debuff, a puddle, whatever, is almost always spell damage. As Antigen pointed out, it’s useful on just about every fight.

Consecration is just terrible. You don’t gain anything from glyphing it. Yes, your damage per cast goes up slightly, but you may need a filler in 34s, and it won’t be available yet. It does 1200 damage per tick, so adding 2 ticks is pretty crappy to begin with. It’s just a waste of a glyph

Your logic behind trying to simplify our priorities isn’t bad, but in practice, it’s problematic. Our procs all play off of each other, so if you’re prioritizing poorly, you’ll munch them, and miss out on significant damage. Lumping them together makes them seem equal.
A different way of explaining it:
CS is king. It procs seals, benefits from mastery, and gives us a holy power, which powers our rotation. With that holy power, you can either cast Inquisition or TV. Inquisition is vastly superior to TV in terms of damage, so make sure to have inquisition up as much as possible (90%+ uptime is a good starting point). If Inq is up, you use it on TV. Outside of CS, TV, and Inquisition, your fillers are AoW Exorcism, HoW, J, HW, and Consecration. While 5 spells are listed here, it’s actually pretty simple. Use Exorcism if you have an AoW proc. Otherwise, just put the spells on your bar from left to right, and cast whichever is furthest left whenever you have a spare GCD.

If it’s any consolation, Conc is pretty good when you have multiple mobs. With 6 or so mobs, it’s about the same damage as TV (though you still won’t prioritize it ahead of TV).

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Pliers December 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Looks like more info is out on EJ, which states that HoW remains still ahead of Exorcism.

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Hugh Hancock December 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

@Pliers – Quick! To the Updateotron!

Thanks very much!

Also, thanks for the suggestions on re-wording – that’s a good rewrite. I’m going to sit down just now and spend some time thinking about a re-word based on your ideas to get the best combination of readability and accuracy. Thanks!

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Hugh Hancock December 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm

@Pliers – I’ve updated the guide with a total rewrite of the priorities section. I’ll be interested to see what you think – personally, I think it’s actually made the entire thing much clearer than it was before. Thanks for challenging me to do better, and for your ideas on how to do it!

One specific question there – I get from what you and Antigen both say that CS should be ahead of Inq, and that makes some sense in resource-management terms. However, as you say, sims beat logic – am I right to put it above Inq?

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Pliers December 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Inquisition is kind of off doing its own thing. It doesn’t really conflict with CS, because you need to hit CS to get holy power to cast inquisition, and you’ll always have spare GCDs after using CS in which to fit Inquisition, so they don’t really compete with each other.

So, while Inq may come before CS in terms of prioritization, it will always come after a CS when it comes to our ‘rotation’. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter which you *say* comes first, as long as it’s clear what that means.

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Clem December 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Hey I just want to say thank you for putting these guides togather. I know they took alot of time and you did an incredible guide! thank you and happy hollidays

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All over warcraft July 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Love the guide keep up the good work :-)

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All over warcraft July 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Love the guide keep up the good work :-)

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