The Light and How to Swing It: Paladin Protection glyphs

Gregg Reece
G. Reece|11.03.10

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Gregg Reece
November 3rd, 2010
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The Light and How to Swing It: Paladin Protection glyphs

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at

We've recently looked at builds for protection and retribution, so let's continue that trend and take a look at glyphs. I'm going to review all of them, as we're getting pretty close to Cataclysm, and I'm going to also review them in a more global context instead of talking about what is going to help you on hard-mode Lich King.

The way I've set it up is that everything that you're likely going to want without question has an asterisk next to it; those are pretty much things you'll want to take. If you look through the major and minor glyphs, you'll notice that there aren't very many marked as such. There's a reason for that. We just don't have that many spectacular glyphs that are useful in all situations for those types. That's not to say the other glyphs are bad (well, some are, but we'll get to that), but they're more situational and require some choice on your part.

Prime glyphs

Crusader Strike* Increases the critical strike chance of Crusader Strike by 5%. A good threat talent. You will be hitting Crusader Strike every 3 seconds most of the time, so that does add up.

Hammer of the Righteous
Increases the damage of both the physical and Holy components of Hammer of the Righteous by 10%. Unfortunately, we're pretty sure this doesn't affect the AoE part of the spell, and that really brings it down. If that's intentional, then it's not that great of a glyph. If it's a bug and gets fixed, then it becomes much better. Inquisition at 81 will help buff up that additional holy damage as well. However, like I said, until they fix the AoE portion of this glyph, it really isn't worth taking.

Your Judgement deals 10% more damage. According to the theorycrafters, it's a decent glyph, but you're better off with the CS glyph over the Judgement one.

Word of Glory
Increases the healing done by Word of Glory by 10%. If you've been taking advantage of a self-healing style of tanking using Word of Glory, this is a good glyph to nab. If you've not been using such techniques, then you're better off looking elsewhere.

Seal of Insight
While Seal of Insight is active, the effect of your healing spells is incrased by 5%. I like the self-healing builds for survivability and that's why I'm including this glyph. With Eternal Glory, the extra 5 percent adds up. Also take into account that having Seal of Insight itself up, you'll be adding to that self-healing.

Seal of Truth
Your Seal of Truth also grants 10 expertise while active. This is a great glyph for threat, as it provides a boatload of expertise while you have Seal of Truth up. If you're under the expertise soft cap, this will provide a great boost to meet it, and if you're over, then it's still helping you avoid parries until you start getting into huge amounts of expertise.

Shield of the Righteous
Increases the damage of Shield of the Righteous by 10%. An extra 10 percent damage to our hardest-hitting ability? Yes. Very much yes. This will likely be in just about everyone's glyph set unless you're doing specialty builds.

Major glyphs

Ascetic Crusader Reduces the mana cost of Crusader Strike by 30%. This takes it down from 10 percent base mana to 7 percent base mana. It's not a huge amount of savings, but it could add up over the course of a fight. I'd really look at other options first and only come back to this if you're having mana issues with things like Consecration.

Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse by 20%. Much like Ascetic Crusader, we're talking about a difference of about 3 percent base mana. This is really situational and likely something you'll only grab for either PvP or special encounters in smaller raids, as you won't be doing your own cleansing most of the time.

Increases the duration and cooldown of Consecration by 20%. Fewer casts, but longer cooldowns. In a world with less AoE in general, it's not that big of a deal.

Divine Plea
Your Divine Plea provides an additional 5% of your total mana. We're not as reliant on Divine Plea as we used to be, and 5 percent of our total mana doesn't add up to much. This is really a glyph for holy paladins.

Dazing Shield
Your Avenger's Shield now also dazes targets. If you miss the old dazing Avenger's Shield for certain situations, then you can bring it back with the application of a glyph. If you're thrilled to be rid of daze on Avenger's Shield, then you can just skip this glyph and keep on going. There are situations where you'll likely want it back, and this gives you the option.

Divine Protection
Removes the physical damage reduction of your Divine Protection but increases the magical damage reduction by 20%. Very cool, but very situational. That's taking magic damage reduction up to a whopping 40 percent and not 24 percent like those things are usually worded. High-magic fights? Extremely useful. High-melee fights? Extremely worthless. This is one of those that you'll want to swap out for the encounter and probably swap back to whatever you normally use. Definitely a great glyph, but fairly limited in scope.

Focused Shield
Your Avenger's Shield hits 2 fewer targets, but for 30% more damage. Spectacular single-target glyph. It is awesome with Grand Crusader procs. The problem is that this is also a massive threat decrease for packs and trash and can possibly make some pulls harder. I really enjoy being able to nab threat on three targets during a pull real quick before the DPS can touch them. If you're preparing for a boss fight with mostly single-target damage, then absolutely grab this glyph. If you're preparing for a fight that has a bunch of adds or dealing with a lot of packs, then you'll want something else. However, it is still an awesome glyph.

Hammer of Justice
Increases your Hammer of Justice range by 5 yards. Really a PvP glyph, but has the potential for certain other fights. Swap it in if you've got a situation where you might need it, but it likely won't be in your usual lineup.

Hammer of Wrath
Reduces the mana cost of Hammer of Wrath by 100%. The mana savings isn't that big of a deal in the long run. If things are almost dead, then you're probably not going to need the extra mana for other things.

Hand of Salvation
Hand of Salvation no longer permanently reduces threat over time, but instead reduces all threat as long as Hand of Salvation lasts. Extremely situation, but potentially extremely powerful. If you've ever had a tank-swap fight in which the other tank keeps missing his taunts (or you're the tank missing taunts), then being able to suddenly drop another person's threat to 0 for a short period of time can be extremely useful. It will give you time to build up threat of your own and potentially bypass theirs. If nothing else, it allows for time while taunts come off cooldown.

Holy Wrath
* Your Holy Wrath now also stuns Elementals and Dragonkin. I love the stun on Holy Wrath. It's just a cool thing that makes me giddy. Being swarmed by undead? Holy Wrath, and they're all sitting there stunned for a brief moment while Consecration ticks away on them. The two types of bad guys we're going to be seeing a lot of in Cataclysm are elementals and dragons, so this really just extends the spell to keep doing what it was useful for in BC and Wrath. That and you can never have enough stuns available.

Long Word
Your Word of Glory heals for 50% less up front, but provides an additional 50% healing over 6 seconds. There's a lot of debate over this glyph. First, we're not sure exactly how it's interacting with Guarded by the Light. We're pretty sure only the direct heal portion is affecting the talented damage shield. Secondly, Protector of the Innocent only works off of the initial cast and not the HoT part, so those of you wishing for a massive self-healing boost can forget it. Then we've got the interaction with Eternal Glory. That allows you to self-heal multiple times in a row, which would overwrite your HoT each time effectively losing that 50 percent of the heal. With all of this combined, I'm not really seeing it for even the self-healing crowd out there. There's even debate in the holy paladin camp as to whether or not they want this glyph. However, for Word of Glory self-spam, it is probably out.

Turn Evil
Reduces the casting time of your Turn Evil spell by 100%, but increases the cooldown by 8 seconds. Cool utility glyph, but you'll probably never get to use it in Cataclysm. It is probably best to skip it.

Minor glyphs

Blessing of Kings Reduces the mana cost of Blessing of Kings by 50%. Better choice than the seal glyphs as people die and need reblessed or as people fight over buff management.

Blessing of Might Reduces the mana cost of your Blessing of Might by 50%. Probably this for the same reason as the Blessing of Kings glyph. It's better than the seal glyphs and you've got space for it.

Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Justice by 50%. Not really the greatest choice. You've got plenty of opportunities during downtime between fights to refresh your seals and they don't require that much mana to start with, especially as you can just toss out a judgement at the start of the fight (or hit Divine Plea) and get that mana back extremely quickly. The only situation I can argue for is battlegrounds, in which you die a lot and need to recast your seals in order to get back into the fray.

Lay on Hands
* Reduces the cooldown of your Lay on Hands spell by 2 minutes. Lay on Hands can be a really helpful cooldown during larger fights for both you and other people. I've saved healers who were getting tunnel vision and DPS who got knocked too far away from the healers with this. Having it on a shorter cooldown is always a good thing.

Reduces the cost of Seal of Righteousness by 50%. Not worth it. See Glyph of Justice.

Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Truth by 50%. Still not worth it. See Glyph of Justice.

Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Insight by 50%. Really not worth it. See Glyph of Justice.

The Light and How to Swing It tries to help paladins cope with the dark times coming in Cataclysm. See the upcoming paladin changes the expansion will bring. Wrath is coming to a close and the final showdown with the Lich King is here. With Cataclysm soon heating things up, will you be ready?
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