World of Warcraft Cataclysm Paladin Tank Guide

World of Warcraft Cataclysm Paladin Tank Guide

World of Warcraft Cataclysm Paladin Tank guide by Xayton.



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SoT - Seal of Truth

ShoR - Shield of the Righteous

CS - Crusader Strike

AS - Avenger's Shield

Salv - Hand of Salvation

WoG - Word of Glory

HS - Holy Shield

HW - Holy Wrath

Inq - Inquisition

JotP - Judgments of the Pure

AotL - Arbiter of the Light

GAK - Guardian of the Ancient Kings


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Always subject to change.

Full Threat;



Spec notes

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Reckoning is a good talent to take again because of how it works with out mastery. It is Reckommended (see what I did there).

Divine Guardian is still the amazing talent in was in Wrath. You just don't need to worry about the DS+DG cancel macro because there is no Divine Sacrifice.

Vindication is still a must have...

Guarded by the Light is rather OP in my opinion. 2/2 GbtL + Eternal Glory + WoGs = crazy amounts of damage reduction due to the overhealing shield. I personally consider this a must have...

Eternal Glory is crazy good when coupled with 2/2 GbtL

Judgments of the Pure vs Arbiter of the Light - JotP is 107 DPS per point while AotL is only 98 DPS per point.

Talent DPS

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(High Vengeance):

DPS per point
Talent Model
SotP - 147.1
Hallowed Ground - 68.3
WotL - 1343.5
Reck - 330.3
Arbiter of the Light - 98.6
JotP - 107.4
Crusade - 172.2
RoL - 173.0
Grand Crusader - 124.1
Sacred Duty - 526.5


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For an all-purpose load out, I would recommend glyphing:
Prime: Seal of Truth, Shield of the Righteous, Crusader Strile
Major: Consecration, Divine Protection(Magic Heavy Fight), Holy Wrath, Lay on Hands, Ascetic Crusader
Minor: Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might, Seal of Truth

For a single-target DPS configuration, the recommendation is:
Prime: Seal of Truth, Shield of the Righteous, Crusader Strike
Major: Focused Shield, Lay on Hands, Consecration
Minor: Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might, Seal of Truth

For a heavy-survival setup:
Prime: Seal of Truth, Word of Glory, Shield of the Righteous
Major: Divine Protection(Magic Heavy Fight), Holy Wrath, Lay on Hands.
Minor: Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might, Seal of Truth

Gems and Enchanting

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I am not going to include profession stuff. Just makes life simple.

Best Arcanum of the Earthen Ring (+90 Stamina and +35 Dodge Rating)
2nd Best: Arcanum of the Wildhammer / Arcanum of the Dragonmaw (+60 Strength and +35 Mastery Rating)
Cheap: Heavy Savage Armor Kit (+44 Stamina)

Best: Greater Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz (+75 Stamina and +25 Dodge Rating)
Cheap: Lesser Inscription of Unbreakable Quartz (+45 Stamina and +20 Dodge Rating)
Cheapest: Heavy Savage Armor Kit (+44 Stamina)

Best: Protection (+250 Armor)
Cheap: Mighty Armor (+225 Armor)

Best: Greater Stamina (+75 Stam)
Cheap: Stamina (+55 Stam)
Cheapest: Heavy Savage Armor Kit (+44 Stamina)

Best: Dodge (50 Dodge)
2nd Best: Major Stamina (+40 Stamina)

Best: Greater Mastery (+65 Mastery)
2nd Best: Heavy Savage Armor Kit (+44 Stamina)
Cheapest: Glove Reinforcements (+240 Armor)

Best: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle

Best: Charscale Leg Armor (+145 Stamina and +55 Agility)
Cheap: Heavy Savage Armor Kit (+44 Stamina)

Best: Mastery (+50 Mastery)
2nd Best: Lavawalker (+35 Mastery + 8% Speed Increase)
2nd Best: Earthen Vitality (+30 Stam + 8% Speed Increase)
Cheap: Heavy Savage Armor Kit (+44 Stamina)

Best Avoidance: Windwalk (Sometimes +600 Dodge Rating and +15% Movement Speed in Melee)
Best Threat: Landslide (Sometimes +1000 Attack Power in Melee)
Cheap Threat: Pyrium Weapon Chain (+40 Hit Rating and -50% Disarm Duration)

Best Under Block Cap: Blocking (+40 Block Rating)
Best Over Block Cap: Protection (+160 Armor)

Tankadin Gems:

As a protection paladin you will use the following, and only the following, unless/until you are so familiar with stats as to be able to make judgment calls about other gems and able to justify those choices.

Meta: Austere Shadowspirit Diamond or Eternal Shadowspirit Diamond (If it works right)
Blue: Solid Ocean Sapphire
Red: Defender's Demonseye (Avoidance) or Guardian's Demonseye (Threat)
Yellow: Puissant Dream Emerald

Our above 20% priority is ShoR>CS>J>AS>Cons>HW (939), which makes our rotation CS-J-CS-X-CS-ShoR.

Here's your Single target rotation(THIS IS THE SIMPLE VERSION)
Divine Plea -> Wings -> Exo (if you want) -> AS -> Judge (if you want) -> ShoR -> CS -> Judge -> CS -> AS(if proc) / [else if]Cons(mana) / [else]HW -> CS -> ShoR

In case you don't understand the X spot. If you have a GrC proc use AS. If not, and you have the mana use Cons. Otherwise use HW. To give you a priority for X it would look like
AS > Cons > CS.

If ShoR happens to miss, USE IT AGAIN.

Our bellow 20% priority dumps AS, Cons, and HW for Hammer of Wrath.

My AoE rotation is something like;
Divine Plea -> AS -> Inq -> Drop Cons -> HotR -> Judge(If you want) -> HW -> HotR -> AS/HW -> HotR ->IF MISSING HEALTH -> WoG -> ELSE -> ShoR

Every GrC proc I use AS.

Our AoE priority is HotR>Cons>HW>AS>(ShoR or WoG)>J. If you find your self having mana problems you can bump Judge up.

As long as you are casting something every GCD you are pretty close to optimal. So don't worry to much.

Ability damage

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Talents: 0/31/10
Glyph: SoT
Seal: SoT
Gear: T11 progression raid set (
Buffs: Full raid, 100% Vengeance


Things of note;
Based on the graph (

Holy Wrath is now our weakest skill. As a result it ends up as a low priority, even in AoE.

Crusader Strike edges out HotR. And according to Theck the gap will get larger with more Hit/Exp.

I cut a little out of this. To see it in it's entirety go here.

Rotation Simulations

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Talents: 0/31/10
Glyphs: SoT/SotR/HotR for Prime, AS/Cons for Major
Seal: SoT
Gear: T11 progression raid set
Buffs: Full raid, 100% Vengeance

There are some subtleties here that I want to discuss before addressing the data. The simulation works by simulating a limited combat environment. It keeps track of ability cooldowns, holy power, and the GCD, iterating in user-definable time steps. At each time step, it checks the priority queue in order and casts the first thing for which the conditionals are true.

While it's capable of incorporating haste effects (by working in time steps of 0.1s or less), that leads to some weird situations. For example, since Holy Wrath is a spell it has a shorter GCD than a melee attack like Crusader Strike. Thus, you can end up in a situation that looks like this:


If your Holy Wrath GCD is shorter than 1.5 seconds by at least one full timestep, CS still won't be off of cooldown. However, if something else is (Judgement perhaps, or Consecration) it'll try and cast that instead. That pushes CS back by almost a full GCD, inevitably causing a massive drop in DPS.

Because of this, I've simulated in time steps of 0.5 seconds, which is essentially throwing out haste as far as our spellcast choices are concerned. Since we are unlikely to want to deviate from casting CS on every alternate cooldown, this shouldn't be an issue.

In the queues below, there are some non-standard abbreviations:

SD stands for Sacred Duty, and means that in a case where you have 3 Holy Power, no Sacred Duty buff, and Judgement is off of cooldown, you prioritize Judgement (instead of just casting ShoR) to "fish" for a Sacred Duty proc.

J2 stands for Judgement in the 2nd "filler" slot before a finisher. It's probably irrelevant, but it was something I was toying with as a way to eke out more SD/SotR damage. It's only a weak theoretical increase though, and didn't pan out to be as much as I expected due to competing effects.

#ShoR stands for an #-point ShoR. If the number is omitted, it's assumed to be a 3-pointer.

2SDShoR stands for an 2-point ShoR if and only if Sacred Duty is up.

The simulation is run for 90k time steps, which is 30k GCDs, or roughly 12 and a half hours of combat. That's a long time, but random procs are random, and it's still entirely possible to get variations of 20-30 DPS or more from sim to sim. That's around 0.2% of variation, but I'd say that a more reasonable threshold for significance is around 0.3% (or around 50 DPS). In other words, if the difference between two sims is less than around 50 DPS, they're roughly the same as far as we're concerned.

Since damage and DPS is calculated in postprocessing, it's easy to show the variation with Vengeance. The tables below show two columns for DPS, the first is for 100% Vengeance and the second is for 30% Vengeance.


TLDR Summary

* ShoR>CS>J>AS>Cons>HW (939) is still fairly strong, but you could potentially eke out another 1% DPS by alternating ShoR and Inq as finishers and using HotR isntead of CS. This advantage disappears at higher hit and expertise values, where 939 again reigns supreme.

* Since queues aren't easy for most people to visualize, 939 is equivalent to the following rotation: CS-J-CS-X-CS-ShoR, where X is filled with AS if it's available, or Cons or HW otherwise.

* Below 20%, we just dump AS, Cons, and HW in favor of Hammer of Wrath: SotR>CS>J>HoW

* Yes, this is still bad news for Grand Crusader.

CS vs HotR

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Q: Isn't HotR more single-target damage than CS?
A: L2P CS vs HotR tuning is a moving target as Blizzard randomly hot-fix stuff. At some point they'll fix CS to be more than HotR on single targets. Even at it's worst, it is still pretty damn close. Meanwhile, learn to tank properly so that when you hit 85 with proper tuning you're not the DonaldTank who breaks CC non-stop and wipes the group on every difficult trash-pack. Clear?

To further clarify this statement CS is edging out HotR with the Cata tanking model (slow weapons + vengeance). The more Hit/Exp you get the larger this gap will get. And once you factor into the seal procs CS provides the gap gets larger still. So be smart and use CS.


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Stop being bad and take it. It is now our third best threat talent. The idea for skipping Reckoning comes from it's old and very poor up time for all of Wrath. This simply isn't the case anymore. It now procs off our blocks and with Mastery being almost equal to Stam we are going to be stacking a lot of it, giving us a very high block chance. Combine a high block chance with a ability that procs off blocks, you get a very high up time on Reckoning. So don't be bad and skip it. Besides what are you going to put those points into, Hallowed Ground? Haha.

Word of Glory:

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I currently consider WoG + 2/2 GbtL to be a bit over powered (just putting that out there).
With 2/2 GbtL any overhealing WoG provides gets turned into a absorb shield for that about for 6 seconds. It is one of those things where numbers start to add up over time making it more powerful then you think.
Unless things drastically change when people start raiding again, using WoG when tanking is a very nice damage reduction. There are two ways to go about doing this. You can either use WoG every time you DON'T get a SD proc, or you can stop using ShoR entirely once you get a nice threat lead (then switch back if you need threat again). Both of these are good ways to go about weaving WoG into your rotation.

Divine Guardian:

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This is single handy the most over powered ability we have. It works just like the old DS+DG used to, only without the Divine Sacrifice part. It is a 6 second, 20% damage reduction for the ENTIRE raid minus the paladin. With a 2 minute cooldown. Think about that for a second. If you can some how come up with a way to explain how this talent is bad I will be amazed. TAKE IT!


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Macro to increase your max Camera distance
/script SetCVar("cameraDistanceMax",50)

Divine Shield Cancel Macro
/cancelaura Divine Shield
/cast Divine Shield

Divine Plea Cancel Macro
/cancelaura Divine Plea
/cast Divine Plea

Righteous Fury Cancel Macro
/cancelaura [mod:shift] Righteous Fury
/cast Righteous Fury

/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("Need 102.4 combat table coverage. Currently at: "..string.format("%.2f", GetDodgeChance()+GetBlockChance()+GetParryChance()+5))


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Very Highly Recommended
PowerAura's - Great for tracking Holy Power, Procs, Cooldowns.

Highly Recommended
Skada - A lighter version of Recount that also covers Threat. Why use Omen + Recount when you can use one addon for both.

Deadly Boss Mods (Or some boss mod) - If you don't know why you need this....

Omen - Threat meter...rather self explanatory.

Recount - Damage meter. Plain and simple.

Tidy Plates + Threat Plates - Allows you to easily see what mobs you have aggro one while AoEing.

Grid + Clique - Great way to get Hands and Taunts out on people who have aggro while AoEing.

Fun Stuff
Vengeance Status - Lets you see how much AP you are getting from Vengeance, without having to open up your character page.

Acheron - A death log...plain and simple.

EavesDrop - A much easier to read combat log. If you have a death log like Archeron you have a less of a use for this.