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Thread: Protection Paladin - Gem Questions

  1. #1
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    Protection Paladin - Gem Questions

    Hi all! I've been a non-raid Protection Paladin for about a month now, finding it pretty easy to do heroics at this point, and I may want to push into pick-up raids now including TOC10 and below. Before I do that, though, I'm trying to get a few more item upgrades (mainly the bracers and the shoulders I use), and I had a few questions about gemming:

    I'm seeing more and more red sockets on my gear. Should I use strength gems in these sockets for more avoidance (block), or should I go with more an avoidance stat, such as parry or dodge? What would be optimal?

    Thanks in advance,
    Dis

  2. #2
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    To give a more accurate suggestion, a link to your armory would be preferred.

    Just to give normal advice. In red sockets you want to usually gem for dodge and parry. This could be dodge/stam, parry/stam, or even agility/stam depending on your preference. Agility/stam is preferred in red sockets due to the slight bonus in armor and critical strike rating it can give. As well as dodge bonuses.

    You may also have to consider using pure stamina gems depending on what your health is for certain fights.

  3. #3
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    Notwithstanding an armory link, make sure you are soft capped on expertise (26 expertise). Use Expertise/stam for that. I highly doubt you are expertise capped without raid gear. It is better to gem for expertise than to enchant for it.

  4. #4
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    Sorry about that, here's an armory link:

    The World of Warcraft Armory

    The bracers are soon to be upgraded with the Saronite Swordbreakers, and assuming I actually see Paletress, hoping to get the Regal Aurous Shoulderpads from the Confessor's Cache, but I've been pretty unlucky with that drop.

    The plan is, after 3.3 next Tuesday, to start building my Tier 7 set.

    Right now, I participate in PUG raids for Onyxia25, Vault25, EOE25, Sarth25 and lower as a healer, and would like to have the option to be a tank for these encounters (and eventually Ulduar and TOC) as my gear progresses.

    I have a pretty good handle on our 696 rotation and seem to be surviving fights, and I have a bunch of mouseover macros to use with BoSac, HoP, RD, HoR, etc.

    I'm searching for a better third major glyph. EJ Forums hinted that the HOTR could be useful, but I'm not sure I like it. I primarily use SOV for tanking (as would be expected), so I am thinking about getting the glyph for that for the 10 expertise. We'll see. I know that the 10% judgement damage really isn't doing much for me, and mana isn't really an issue so I don't really want to waste a major spot on, say, Shield of the Righteous.

    I'm human, so I get a little more expertise by default, but I'm also at 25 rating. I only have around 35k health buffed, and I know that's not really enough for the major raids, but I'd hate to lose a bunch of socket bonuses which include expertise and defense to fill them with +30 stamina gems.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
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    For the gear you are currently working with, I say you are doing a good job so far. Definitely on the third glyph switch out for Seal of Vengeance. I say the hard part with the early gear is keeping up the defense requirements of 540 def while retaining a hefty amount of HP with avoidance. Looking at what you have, doing ToC 10 would be fine for you. Could possibly get a little rough, but you should have enough HP to be fine.

    Currently I think you could stick to gemming for avoidance until your gear progresses and improves. Try not to gem for Defense rating if you can help it. Once you receive better gear it will be easier when gemming and you will more likely focus on stamina at that point.

  6. #6
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    If you don't feel confident while looking at your gear, here are some upgrades you can get by doing heroics:

    -226 Hands from Emblem of Conquest vendor
    -213 wrists from emblem of Valor vendor (60 emblem of valor)
    -232 Shoulders with 30 emblem of triumphs (by doing the Heroic Dailies)

    Also, the triumph emblem libram is the best their is for protection paladins, so it would also help you.

    But aside from available upgrades from the content that is available to you, I think you'd be fine in ToC 10.

    Good luck

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Insahnity View Post
    Notwithstanding an armory link, make sure you are soft capped on expertise (26 expertise). Use Expertise/stam for that. I highly doubt you are expertise capped without raid gear. It is better to gem for expertise than to enchant for it.
    This advice may hold true for warriors, but expertise is not a make-or-break stat for Paladin tanks. Besides, we get 6 expertise from talents and another 10 expertise from an almost mandatory glyph.

    To the OP:

    You need to respec to 53/18 - Crusade is a much better threat stat in ToC and ToGC because almost all the bosses meet the criteria for the full 6%, and Vindication is a key mitigation talent for raiding tanks. The Hammer of Wrath glyph is useless also, definitely replace it with Seal of Vengeance.

    I would try to farm the T8.5 helm before 3.3 drops, as you are going to have several more pressing upgrades from Triumph badges (libram, then shoulders, then gloves, then ring, THEN the helm and/or legs).

    You're gemming too much strength. The gemming strategy I recommend is defense until 540, then one purple gem to activate your meta (it's ok to meet nice socket bonuses like 9 stamina with green or purple though), and then going crazy with the stamina. Once you change your spec and glyph, you will gain a lot of threat. If you're still having threat problems after that, maybe a few purple str/stam gems are in order, however that seems very unlikely.

    You should also replace your glove enchant with armsman. 2% total threat is more threat than 20 hit rating would provide (the 10 parry is just icing on the cake). I'd also replace your cloak enchant with +16 def, to free up another gem slot for (you guessed it) stamina.

    I think if you make these changes, you will DEFINITELY be ready for ToC.
    Last edited by Harmacy; 12-06-2009 at 02:44 AM.

  8. #8
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    Ok. I can make those changes. I have HoW as a glyph as a "leftover" from when I changed specs from Retribution to Protection a while ago. I could swap it out to Seal of Vengeance, but it's my understanding that this would put me over that "25" number listed above, though you did hint at that being more for warriors. I just don't want to go overboard and sacrifice some other glyph that could be useful.

    Libram? Really? I'm not sure on the translation, but the i245 libram gives 200 dodge rating when using HOTR, with diminishing returns? That's better than the one I have now, which gives 450 block value?

    Sounds good on the 8.5 helm strategy. I do have about a hundred or so conquest emblems saved up, so I can go ahead and invest in the new helm. I also am considering skipping the Dalaran's Parapets bracers that someone mentioned above because I plan on buying the crafted Saronite Swordbreakers once I get another Crusader Orb. I agree that my legs are probably last to be upgraded because they are one of the higher ilvl pieces I use.

    Do you recommend using a Nightmare's Tear in place of another to activate the meta, or should I just use a Purple or Orange to trigger the red gem?

    Just to be clear, I'm not having problems with threat, the only time I "lose" threat is when the dps starts nuking him before I'm in melee range of the target, but that's what taunt is for.

    Last question, is it best to continue to gem for avoidance in the form of parry or dodge? In other words, should I just stack whichever is lowest on my page, or should I go between both of them equally?

    Thanks,
    D

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard_lc View Post
    Ok. I can make those changes. I have HoW as a glyph as a "leftover" from when I changed specs from Retribution to Protection a while ago. I could swap it out to Seal of Vengeance, but it's my understanding that this would put me over that "25" number listed above, though you did hint at that being more for warriors. I just don't want to go overboard and sacrifice some other glyph that could be useful.

    Libram? Really? I'm not sure on the translation, but the i245 libram gives 200 dodge rating when using HOTR, with diminishing returns? That's better than the one I have now, which gives 450 block value?

    Sounds good on the 8.5 helm strategy. I do have about a hundred or so conquest emblems saved up, so I can go ahead and invest in the new helm. I also am considering skipping the Dalaran's Parapets bracers that someone mentioned above because I plan on buying the crafted Saronite Swordbreakers once I get another Crusader Orb. I agree that my legs are probably last to be upgraded because they are one of the higher ilvl pieces I use.

    Do you recommend using a Nightmare's Tear in place of another to activate the meta, or should I just use a Purple or Orange to trigger the red gem?

    Just to be clear, I'm not having problems with threat, the only time I "lose" threat is when the dps starts nuking him before I'm in melee range of the target, but that's what taunt is for.

    Last question, is it best to continue to gem for avoidance in the form of parry or dodge? In other words, should I just stack whichever is lowest on my page, or should I go between both of them equally?

    Thanks,
    D
    - I said that expertise is not a 'make or break' stat, not that it isn't a good stat, because it is. Expertise is a great threat stat, and being over 26 (the dodge cap) is not a bad thing at all. It just isn't crucial to get to 26 like it would be for a warrior (not that I know a lot about warriors, but I know that the vast majority of their attacks can be dodged/parried and that they don't have an OP expertise glyph like we do).

    - Block Value is a nice threat stat, but it provides very little mitigation in ToC, ToGC, and even Ulduar because bosses have such slow swing timers (with a few exceptions). Keep your current libram for your block set, and use the dodge one for your MT or regular set.

    - Nightmare's Tear would be a bad idea, you'd lose stamina from that. I'd suggest a purple agi/stam or dodge/stam gem to activate your meta (dodge is better for pure avoidance, but agility gives you crit and a small amount of armor in addition for dodge - your call).

  10. #10
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    Thanks for a quick response. I had a chance to log in for a few minutes, respec, and regem and enchant per your recommendations...

    I still have to make a glyph, and I'll do that next time I'm in Dalaran and swap it out for my HoW glyph.

    Speaking of avoidance sets, I have the Brawler's Souvenir from the Direbrew loot, which is a +84 dodge, +334 dodge on use trinket. Think this would be better to swap for my Black Brewmaiden's trinket I use now? I would be sacrificing +170 stamina for extra avoidance.

    Brawler's Souvenir - Item - World of Warcraft

  11. #11
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    Alright, I'm all glyphed up and ready to go now. Still waiting an obscenely long time to have my mining alt create all the Titansteel Bars that I need, but it's a considerably cost savings compared to buying them on the AH on my server. Thanks for the input, hopefully when servers come up later, I'll have the ability to run a million pug heroics and gather as many triumph emblems as I can stomach!

  12. #12
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    Expertise is not "less important" for paladins by a measurable number: SoV applications can be avoided, which means every auto attack and every hammer of the righteous rolls two avoidance checks. If the first attack is avoided, the application does not happen. If the first attack lands, the application rolls for avoidance and then lands. Expertise also plays like 80% of the value of dodge/parry towards taking less damage due to how parrygibs work.

    Oh, and autoattacks are a much greater part of our threat now than before, because SoV also procs holy damage based on your weapon damage.



    That said, Gemming is very simple as a paladin. Hitting the expertise soft cap is easy due to glyph of SoV(one of the best glyphs we have), and hit is not essential to the point of requiring gemming, we'll always have a reasonable chunk to spare.

    Def/Stam are good yellow slot gems, while agi/stam and dodge/stam are good red slot gems.

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