Before you read this post, go ahead and catch up on the discussion. I’ve been tossing around some ideas for Paladin healing builds in 3.2, particularly the possibility of using a Holy/Prot build instead of the commonly touted Holy/Ret build that’s so common today. Siha‘s talked a little about this build as well, and it’s something I’ve been trying (quite successfully) even in pre-3.2 raiding.
Reading over the “bug-fixes” part of the most recent PTR build I noticed the following:
Sacred Shield: This buff will no longer have any effect if the target is another player engaged in a duel. In addition, the heal from this buff will no longer cause the paladin to stand, and it is no longer possible for two paladins to both have the spell active on one target.
This is… not good. Not good at ALL. Among other things, it means that Divine Guardian is no longer nearly as useful for Protection Paladins, since Holy Paladins will need to be using Sacred Shield on their tank targets in order to get the buff to Flash of Light:
Sacred Shield: When a paladin casts Flash of Light on a target with this buff, they also now place a heal-over-time effect on the target, healing that target for 100% of the Flash of Light amount over 12 seconds.
After 3.2, an effective tank-healing Holy Paladin absolutely must have Sacred Shield up on their tank.
This is one more reason that the 51/17/ +3 build – Holy and Protection – is going to be MORE viable in 3.2, since Protection Paladins are likely to want to spend their talent points elsewhere. Unless they raid with no Holy Pallies, there will be no real reason for a 25 man tanking Prot Paladin to have buffs to Sacred Shield.
That’s actually not what’s bad about this change though. That’s annoying, but not awful – it’s a mitigation change, but not really a massive shift in gears.
Why am I concerned about this?
It is not uncommon for a raid to have two Holy Paladins, especially with the vast quantities of constant tank damage that seems to be the flavor of the month for “how to make healing hard”. Multiple Beacons of Light can now stack on one target – and they remove the stacking ability from Sacred Shield? So your two Holy Pallies, who are 90% of the time assigned to healing the tank, now must BOTH must have the Bubble Pally build, and they must coordinate who has Shields on the tank.
Two Pallies. One Tank. See the problem?
With Sacred Shields no longer stacking, the “second Holy Paladin” (especially if that paladin prefers the crit based 51/5/15 build) can not be as effective as a tank healer.
If Blizzard wants us to bring the player, not the class – then why are they shoehorning raids to only have a proper use for one Holy Paladin, and making the mechanics enforce that bringing two actually diminishes the effectiveness of the second Paladin? The Beacon Stacking issue is now something that they’ve fixed for the same reason.
Why fix one such issue only to create yet another one?
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