Obligatory Paladin PvP Post, Pre-3.3

Okie Dokie.  So, most of the changes on the PTR for 3.3 have been squarely aimed at PvP.  So I thought that I would take the time out and address what is going on in PvP from a Ret side of things.

Currently, Ret has been relegated to a purely support role.  What I mean by that is we are buffbots and drainbots.

Simply put, there are three major weaknesses that are currently preventing Ret from becoming any significant force in PvP.

– Lack of a gap closer

I have whined about this in the past, but nothing has really changed here.  If we are trapped/snared/slowed/cursed/whatever the game is pretty much over for us.  The only thing that we have is Judgement of Justice – and that really isn’t a gap closer, no matter what blizz says.  If we are 15 yards away, use that judgement, we are still 15 yards away.  We can now run 30% faster than them, but by the time that we catch up (assuming that we are not snared again, which is what any reasonable PvP’er would do), we have lost the effect.  Against hunters, druids, shamen, we are absolutely helpless.  Add to the fact that Ret MUST use judgement of wisdom for the mana, and you have a lame duck for anyone with a brain.

– Lack of a reliable stun (on a reasonable cooldown)

We have one.  Thats it.  And it has a minute long cooldown.  It takes a really well placed stun to do anything functional with our stun.  Many people end up using the stun as an artificial gap closer.  This is bad design, I am sorry to say.  There is something to be said for utilizing all the tools you have, but when you are using one essential tool in place of another, its just bad.

One thing that is often overlooked is the redesign of random stuns.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the removal at the beginning of Lich King.  But it really hurt Ret PvP.  For those of you who don’t understand what I am going on about – Maces used to have a random stun component to them.  It would sap you for something on the order of half a second.  And what paladin wasn’t wielding a mace in PvP because of that?  With that removal, it significantly hurt Ret PvP – without a reliable, short cooldown stun we relied on the random short duration stuns.  Now that we are missing that…  Well, its not very easy to time ONE stun per fight.

– Complete lack of any meaningful burst

Ret’s at one point were the king of burst damage, and it did need to be tuned down.  (Yes an honest to goodness Ret agreed with the general community for a nerf.)  But now we are lame ducks.  Against healers, even with a well placed stun, we are very unlikely to take them down.  I dueled with a Resto Druid the other day, he was decently well geared.  I could not, for the life of me, down him.  It ended up being a drain match, which he won, because I had to keep healing myself.  But this is what ret is right now.  Just extra pressure on the healer.  That’s it.  You just hit on the healer until someone comes and helps you burst him down.

Many people have said that Ret survivability is a problem.  Right now, pre-3.3 it is not.  I think we are right there in the sweet spot.  But that is WITHOUT a Sacred Shield nerf.  I was hoping that the change would not go through, and I am glad that it didn’t.  Take SS away from a Ret, and you have…   Well, I don’t like PvP all that much to begin with, but I can’t imagine even the hardcore liking it after a change like that.  It would literally nuke ret survivability.

Let me take the time to mention the LoH issue as well.  LoH as a Ret is two key things – a quick “Oh CRAP!!!!” button, and, for those who use it intellegently, an instant mana button (and not just for me…  my team mates as well).  The current iteration of this spell on the PTR is going to cause forbearance on whoever you use it on.  That means, no casting it on pally tanks… ever.  You will also have to coordinate with your holy pally and let him know when you are going to dish it out and to whom.  It may cause a delay in that instant “Oh Crap!” moment, and that is what I am primarily worried about.

But for PvP – It really dosen’t matter.  It will force the paladin to choose between extra instant health, or defense, which I don’t think is a bad thing.  Intelligent play should be intelligent play.

3 Responses to “Obligatory Paladin PvP Post, Pre-3.3”
  1. Herro I stumbled here from Forbearance and wanted to chime in since you were talking about ret pvp. I’ve only swapped to ret this season. I created my paladin just before WOTLK also and played s4-6 as holy. S7 I’m retsmash and while we have some issues I don’t think we’re in a terrible spot. While I agree that if they nerf ret survivability (which is despite the qq very high expecially in 2s and in bgs) we should have some sort of compensation on the offense. I just think some things will not help and the buff should require some skill to use.

    “Lack of a gap closer… Add to the fact that Ret MUST use judgement of wisdom for the mana, and you have a lame duck for anyone with a brain.”

    From playing both SoR (7/11/53) and SoCleave (0/20/51) in neither case did I judge wisdom in pvp. If i was tanking dmg I was using JoL for more HP while we set up kills. If we were on the offense I used JoJ to keep opponents from getting away via sprints. Mana really was never an issue unless I’m fighting a priest, and in which case judging into PWS is just me playing poorly. I think a gap closer would be nice but wouldn’t make ret any better. We always play with a snare class, it wouldn’t make playing any more rewarding either since lets face it all we’d do is mash said snare once every x seconds. A snare would only help if we were wanting to play the warrior/rogue/hunter role in a team being the ms/peel/interupt bot. For this to happen kiss goodbye bubble cleanse and art of war flash procs. Giving this kind of control to a class that has so many ways to help teamates survive would be silly overpowered see s5 DK.

    “Lack of a reliable stun (on a reasonable cooldown)”

    Another stun would be OP probably, now if you were to say “interupt” or “unrelenting assault” to give us better control of healers and casters like other mele I would agree.

    “Complete lack of any meaningful burst”

    I’d say next to warlocks and elemental shamans rets and rogues have the highest burst. Specced 7/11/53 in full pvp gear with wings my JoR still crits 800 resil targets for 4500+ 1200 seal proc. Throw in a 3200 non crit exorcism and 1800 rocket glove and a 2-4k mele swing. Thats a hell of alot of dmg inside 3 seconds/2gcds (14k if just the judge crits). While seeing a 10K chaos bolt is pretty silly we’re not too far behind (although we can’t follow up with conflag just a 4k divine storm). I think you’re mixing up burst with the ability to train someone to death (which ret really can’t do to healers).

    • Firespirit says:

      Shiftusk, Welcome!

      With regards to Judgements, I rarely ever get to use anything but Wiz. I don’t know if it is simply because I am a tad (ok, a little more than a tad) on the in-experienced side in PvP or not, but *if* I live long enough to get more than one rotation off, I am dead in the water.

      For the gapcloser – I disagree. Maybe it is playstyle, maybe not. But the problem right now is that I can not *get* to anyone to touch them. And when I do, I can’t burst them down. The big threat that Ret used to be was that *if* they managed to get in range, they would utterly devastate you. That just isn’t happening. Both on a damage level, and on a distance level. I can hardly ever get to touch anyone anymore. Unless I use my one stun as a makeshift gapcloser.

      And, yes. You are right. Perhaps another stun would be a bit overkill. Interrupt, I would take 🙂

  2. hihi

    It may not be playstyle it sounds like when describing your pvp fights you’re saying “if you live”. Sounds like you may be having to reset and cast holy light alot more. Are you in alot of pve gear, maybe you are getting beat up and having to be defensive too much.

    I think we need to compare notes using armory maybe. It is a pain to close on people sometimes but I do find once my rogue and I set up a good fight for us, my burst and mana are there to wreck house.

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