Cataclysm Preview for Paladins
Paladins have seen a lot of ups and downs throughout World of Warcraft’s patch and expansion history, so here is a look at some of the changes they can expect as Blizzard (quite literally this time) shakes things up again.
There will be three new Paladin spells to look forward to:
- Level 81: Blinding Shield. This spell causes damage to all nearby targets as well as blinding them. But, there is a chance that this spell will only work if your opponent is actually facing you, like the Radiance ability done by Eadric the Pure in TOC. Also, to use this spell you will have to have a shield.
For a Holy Paladin you will be able to increase the damage done, or as a Prot Paladin will be able to make this spell an instant cast.
- Level 83: Healing Hands. Healadins rejoice, as you are getting a new healing spell. This spell will turn you into your own personal healing totem; giving you the ability to radiate heals to nearby players. The range will be short but the spell long enough that you can cast off a few other heals at the same time.
- Level 85: Guardian of Ancient Kings. You will get a temporary pet that looks similar to the Resurrection spell from Warcraft III. This pet will act as your guardian and will have different effects depending on your spec.
Holy Paladins will have a guardian that will help them heal.
Retribution Paladins will have a guardian that does damage to the enemy. Protection Paladins will have a guardian that absorbs damage.
This effect will not last long and will not have a traditional pet bar, but should prove to be a valuable ally when the Paladin needs a hand with a particular fight.
Paladins can expect a lot more from Cataclysm than just a few new spell changes.
All Paladins will start out with Crusader Strike, making it easier for them to level up at the lower levels. Holy Shock will now be available to all Paladins as a core healing spell.
Cleanse will now dispel debuffs on friendly targets, diseases, and poisons.
Blessing of Might will be changed to give Wisdom as well, meaning that Paladins will not need to give specific buffs to certain classes in their group.
Talents and Mastery
The talent trees have been completely reworked with all classes seeing some big changes.
Both Holy Paladins and Ret Paladins see changes to their defensive capabilities, allowing them to have more offensive capabilities, and making PvP Paladins a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield again.
To make sure that Holy Paladins aren’t seen exclusively as tank healers they see some changes to the Holy tree to provide other big heals. Spirit will be used as the mana regeneration stat for Holy Paladins. Flash of Light will still be a fast heal, but will be expensive in terms of the mana needed to cast it. At the same time Beacon of Light will be adjusted so that it saves Paladins their global cool downs and targeting time instead of just mana. This means that Holy Paladins should be able to hold their own as a main healer if they wish.
Mastery spells are an interesting part of the talent trees, giving players an extra incentive to stick with a certain tree.
- Holy Paladins will focus on Healing and Meditation and will earn the Mastery of Critical Healing effect. All healers will get Mediation, which effects their spirit-to-mana conversion. Critical Healing Effect will allow Holy Paladins to do even bigger heals when their healing spells crit.
- Retribution Paladins will focus on Melee Damage and Melee Critical Damage, and will have a Mastery of Holy Damage, where all Holy Damage spells will do an increased amount of damage.
Protection Paladins will focus on Damage Reduction and Vengeance and will have Block Amount. Vengeance is the conversion for damage received to attack power that is shared by all tanks, while Block Amount will allow Protection Paladins to absorb more damage with their normal blocks than Warrior tanks.