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The Light and How to Swing It: Shine on! A 2008 review part II

Zach Yonzon

Wish List
As great a year as it's been for Paladins, I don't think it would do us any harm to wish for more good things. I'm pretty hopeful, too, because most of the problems I saw with Retribution eventually got fixed. It's not completely fixed, but this is the new, über-responsive Blizzard we're talking about here. It seriously feels good to be wanted. Of course, I'm wishing they fix all the classes to become as fun to play and as wanted in raids and in PvP, but there are just a few more things Paladins could use.

1. Please don't nerf Judgement of Wisdom and other stories
As great as Retribution is now, it isn't perfect. For one thing, as good as our DPS is now, we actually have to use Consecration and Divine Storm every time it's up in order to stay competitive. Ghostcrawler said we have to pay a tiny penalty for using AoE abilities against a single mob -- hence the cost and nerf to our mana management -- but the truth is that if we don't use Consecration and Divine Storm against single mobs (i.e. bosses), our DPS goes down significantly. If they don't want us to use AoE abilities for single targets, then for the Light's sake, make our DPS competitive without them. Even simpler, let us continue to use them and un-nerf Judgements of the Wise.

2. Un-vanillafy Crusader Strike

Corellary to number 1 is the fact that our 41-point bread-and-butter talent is nothing more than a weapon damage strike. Now that all Paladins are encouraged to cast Judgements, I understand the change to remove the refresh aspect of the spell. But personally, there has got to be something else to this ability. If there's anywhere that Blizzard can insert some sort of utility, even for PvP, it's probably here.

3. Help us catch up

Literally, help Retribution Paladins catch up to opponents. While Paladin burst damage isn't so bad -- I don't understand why people are complaining when Mages can blow up people with 7k bursts from one spell. I mean, I've had a Shaman fry me with an 8k Lava Burst -- the real issue is the ability to catch up. We're supremely kitable. In an environment where other classes can pull you, knock you back, and employ an impossible list of snares, Hand of Freedom and Pursuit of Justice just does't cut it. The only reason I can do any real damage in Arenas is because I've got a Death Knight teammate who can pull opponents into our kill zone.

The Arena representation is misleading because a lot of those Paladins are Holy. 1.5-2k heals from The Art of War-energized Flashes of Light are negligible in an environment where other classes can bust out three to four times that damage. That's not even counting Mortal Strike effects. Then again, this is a problem with Arena burst in general, and Blizzard already knows that.

4. Single target taunt

I know it's coming. I'm just impatient.

5. Crafted plate with Intellect

Brilliant Saronite. What's up with that?

Overall, I don't have too many things I can think of that the class needs right now. We're in a good and happy place, and I can only hope that trend continues. Very few classes have gotten as much love, and boy, can we feel it. Paladins are extremely fun to play in any spec now and if there's any class that exemplifies how good Blizzard has done its job, it's the Paladin. So as 2008 moves to a close, all I have to say to Blizzard is thank you.

The Light and How to Swing It tries to help Paladins, those champions of the Light, tackle the Wrath of the Lich King. Check out Zach's guides to gearing up your Holy Paladin for Haste or for Crit and your Retadin for Hit. Oh, and bonk those Death Knights on the head while you're at it.

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