Okay, you can stop laughing now.
So how is prot doing in PvP? Well, like any class/spec, it depends on who you fight.
So far I've found that I tear apart melee, even more than before.
Casters are not so good. I can't effectively interrupt or reflect, but I do have a decent bit of health, so I can survive some damage. It's an uphill (cliff) battle, but I can still hurt them a decent amount.
So what changed? What are these great new spells that saved the day?
Instant Avenger's Shield is a big help. It's a ranged attack, something which paladins lack. It's a snare, another thing we lack. The damage isn't amazing, but I've seen over 2k on crits, so it's not insignificant. All in all, it's pretty powerful. Unfortunately the mana cost is pretty high.
Shield of the Righteous makes a defensive stat, block value, into a quickly scaling offensive stat. It's also very cheap, less than 200 mana without benediction. The result is an attack that scales well (I want to come back to this), ignores armor, is inexpensive, and has only a 6 second cooldown. Attacks range from 1.3k to 4k, depending on various buffs, but no, there was no berserking or wings involved.
Hammer of the Righteous is another attack which is on a short cooldown and is fairly cheap, though not quite as cheap as SotR. This works nicely because it triggers both seals and judgements, rapidly stacking corruption or healing a bit with SoL. Also it hits three people, which is nice when you end up in a pile of melee.
Blessing of Sanctuary makes for some pretty decent regen against melee. Previously mana was a terrible problem for prot. It's still tough, but it's nowhere near as awful as before. Also 3% less damage is nice to have.
Surprise: People just do not expect someone who is practically invulnerable to melee to start throwing around 2-3k damage per crit.
In terms of successes and failures: I've torn apart a few melee, rogues, warriors, ret, death knights, no enhancement yet. Or, they tore themselves apart and I helped out with a couple smashes with my shield. I had very little luck against a moonkin, though it was likely that he had tenacity and was more powerful than normal. I somehow managed to kill an elemental shaman tonight, though I think that said more about him than me or protection. It would have gone better in my favor if not for some well-timed lag spikes.
Overall prot PvP is pretty much a win-lose, either you slaughter the melee or the casters slaughter you, but the caster-prot gap seems smaller than the melee-prot gap, so overall we might actually be decent. This clearly does not apply much to arenas where there's little incentive to not just let us wander around hitting people, taking the place of someone else with interrupts or MS or more damage. The addition of new attacks makes it feel a lot more controlled, like you're not at the mercy of the RNG and your enemy being nice enough to hit you so you can hit them back. Shield of the Righteous is just plain fun.
Getting back to the scaling on SotR, I wonder if it might scale with strength better than Crusader Strike. That would be strange, to say the least.
2 str = 1 BV = 1 damage
2 str = 4 AP = .286 DPS which at 3.5 normalization is 1 damage
So... there we go, Shield of the Righteous scales with strength as well as Crusader Strike, before considering other talents. I guess it should be easy to throw on the various multipliers, if I could remember if they add or multiply with each other and if shield spec is working with strength yet. Either way, it's pretty strange to think that a tanking talent scales for DPS as fast as a DPS talent.
Oh wait, SotR ignores armor, so that would push it over. Except I managed to forget that CS is 110%, not 100%. Either way, the scaling is similar to be surprising. I won't complain too much, this means that prot aggro will scale very well with DPS increases.
Guest post: The mind of a tank
5 hours ago