When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Personal choices can be wrong

Chris Jahosky on WowInsider has a build shop article highlighting a really atrocious 0/46/15 build. Here is the build:

Protection (46 points)

5/5 Redoubt
3/3 Precision
2/2 Guardian's Favor
5/5 Toughness
1/1 Blessing of Kings
3/3 Improved Righteous Fury
3/3 Shield Specialization
2/2 Spell Warding
1/1 Blessing of Sanctuary
2/2 Sacred Duty
5/5 One-Handed Weapon Specialization
2/2 Improved Holy Shield
1/1 Holy Shield
5/5 Ardent Defender
5/5 Combat Expertise
1/1 Avenger's Shield

Retribution (15 points)

5/5 Benediction
5/5 Deflection
3/3 Vindication
2/3 Pursuit of Justice

I'll give you a moment to digest that.


Some of his explanations directly conflict with what he is trying to accomplish. I am going to quote liberally from the article and the comments thread-- all block quotes are his words unless indicated otherwise.

The most scandalous suggestion I'm making in this build is not picking up Reckoning, but I have a few reasons why -- read on to find out.

No, actually that is fairly well accepted in the Tankadin community. Vindication is probably the most scandalous suggestion.

Guardian's Favor - Reduces the cooldown of BoP by 2 minutes, and increases the duration of BoF by 4 seconds. Sometimes a mob gets loose and goes straight for a healer or other squishy -- this can be used to give you time to re-establish aggro without danger to the squishy (provided that they're not getting spells cast at them).

The number of situations where this is useful in PvE are almost precisely zero. Let's say a mob breaks loose and does, indeed head straight for your mage. Taunt! Oh crap, taunt resisted, BoP the mage. Yay mage is safe, healer gets pwned. Taunt and BoP are still on cooldown... um, Judgement of Righteousness! Crap, it's on cooldown because I neglected to take the two points to improve it. Avenging Shield! Crap, only 15 seconds into the fight and I pulled with it. Healer dies, the mage is tanking, and your PuG is in trouble.

The only situation where I have ever thought to myself "Gee, I wish I had Guardian's Favor" in a PvE setting is on Moroes to help out with Garotte, and even then my priest gets the first one reserved for them. That's it. One fight, which most people tend to outgear fairly rapidly. I'm sorry, as a protection pally I have to be ruthless when it comes to spending talent points-- so many of my choices are spoken for already.

Toughness - Increases armor from items by 10%. This one is a toss-up. Some paladins like having this and anticipation, some like one or the other. I like Toughness since my Prot Paladin is already at 490 defense, but your mileage may vary.

Anticipation is MANDATORY. This is non-negotiable. Once you reach the 490 defense cap, you can start taking out your defense trinkets and putting in more useful ones, like stamina, avoidance, or even threat if you feel like it. Even if you never make it to SSC and the resist fights there, the flexibility in gear selection this talent gives you is justification for "mandatory" status.

Vindication - It's up to you how to spend these last 5 points, but I like putting 3 of them in Vindication to decrease the target's stats by 15%. It may not work on bosses, but it's pretty good for trash.

You know what else is pretty good on trash? DPS. We do not spec for trash, ladies and gentlemen-- that's why it's called Trash. We spec for bosses. Those 3 points alone are the entire reason for this commentary. This is a PvP talent, plain and simple. Take it if you want to PvP (poorly), but don't attempt to justify this choice behind the old "good for trash" arguement. You know what else is good for trash? Tanking without pants. Solves all of your mana problems and impresses the ladies. Oh yeah, you know what I'm talking about, baby. No that's not a Merciless Gladiator's Gavel in my pocket, 'cause I got no pockets. Ka-chow!


There are people in this world who attempt to justify poorly reasoned beliefs by saying "It's my opinion, so it cannot be wrong." This is false. If your belief (which is a strongly held opinion) contradicts reality, it is wrong. If your opinion does not even support the premise that you were incorrectly attempting to justify with its use, it is wrong. This build is wrong.

"There is no perfect build, every build has its use."

I challenge you to describe to me a tanking situation where this build would excel.

It fails as a 5 man build - you want to stack spell damage for PuGs, for which you need Anticipation.

It fails as an Off Tank spec - Improved Seal of the Crusader beats the pants off Vindication for raid utility.

It fails as a Main Tank spec - You want improved Judgement to maximize threat, particularly if you favor Seal of Vengeance, and of course Vindication is useless.

It fails as a PvP build - Not picking up Seal of the Crusader, or Stoicism, or even maxing out Pursuit of Justice.

In short, the build accomplishes nothing that a tankadin would want to accomplish. Other than, perhaps, providing grist for a hastily written article to meet a deadline.


Patrick said...

so I'm thinking of re-speccing from ret to prot. I read the WoW insider article. As someone who is not experienced as a tank, can you provide a link to your build?

I'm currently level 50, but I'd like to see a 50 build and a 70 build so I know where I should be headed as I level. Thanks.

Coristad said...


Keep in mind that my spec works at my level of gear. You might want to pick up reckoning as it is very effective initially and helps quite a bit while you're leveling.

I would also recommend working 3/3 Pursuit of Justice into your prot build while you level as being able to evade higher level mobs can save you time and money.

Level from 60-70 as prot as you can, and instance as much as possible, it's good practice.

Finally, browse the "Maintankadin" forum I have listed in my links bar, in particular the gear and spec forums. It's a great community and a good source of information in a positive environment.


Coristad said...

Hum, link didn't work.

Try this one.