Protection "Uses Holy magic to shield himself / herself and defend allies from attackers."
Don't believe everything you read on the internet. The paladin, in general, is still heavily under development, and don't expect the next patch's protection tree to look at all like this. Also, ignore the Holy Shield in this build, as it is going to stop being a constant, maintained ability and instead will be something you hit when you need it, much like trinkets.
We are going to turn both Holy Shield and Shield Block into short cooldowns. A short cooldown is an ability that you don't save for an absolute emergency (like Shield Wall) but we also don't want it to be on such a short cooldown that it feels maintenance-y. It's a tricky number to get right, but something in the 30 sec to 1 min zone feels about right. Then you might use Holy Shield one GCD instead of SoR or you can choose to save it until the next big boss attack.
They chose Avenger's Shield as the active ability you nab for choosing protection spec. It gives you damage and allows you to pull in dungeons more easily at low levels. Touched by the Light as a passive allows early conversion of the strength-based plate gear we'll be wearing into the spellpower we need.
Some quick things of note before we dig into things. Ardent Defender is no longer passive. It is an active Last Stand-esque ability. Some things have been moved from other trees into protection, like Improved Crusader Strike and Seals of the Pure. We get Improved Exorcism to remove the cast time off the spell so that we can actually use the ability for something other than pulls.
Divine Guardian now reduces the cooldown of Divine Plea by up to 60 seconds, which means we can use it whenever we need it (as it appears we've lost the almost constant uptime we were able to manage before). Hallowed Ground is a peculiar talent, as it allows you to extend your Consecration by up to 30 additional seconds. This is a really nice thing for flag guarding in PvP battlegrounds like Arathi Basin, as we will be able to keep the area constantly consecrated without worrying nearly as much about mana consumption.
Overall, don't get too attached or upset about anything here, as we've essentially been told that most of this is going to change in the next build or two.
- Spec Active Ability
- Avenger's Shield Hurls a holy shield at the enemy, dealing [440+0.07*SPH+0.07*AP] to [536+0.07*SPH+0.07*AP] Holy damage, Dazing them and then jumping to additional nearby enemies. Affects 3 total targets. Lasts 10 sec.
- Spec Passives
- Touched by the Light Increases your spell power by an amount equal to 60% of your Strength and increases the amount healed by your critical heals by 30%.
- Vengeance Each time you take damage, you gain 5% of the damage taken as attack power, up to a maximum of 10% of your health.
- Tier 1 talents
- Toughness (3) Increases your armor value from items by 3/6/10%
- Seals of the Pure (3) Increases the damage done by your Seals and their Judgement effects by 5/10/15%
- Improved Hammer of Justice (2) Decreases the cooldown of your Hammer of Justice spell by 10/20 sec.
- Tier 2 talents
- Judgements of the Just (2) Increases the duration of your Seal of Justice effect by 0.5/1.0 sec and your Judgement spells also reduce the melee attack speed of the target by 10%
- Sanctuary (3) Reduces damage taken from all sources by 1/2/3% and when you block, parry, or dodge a melee attack you will gain 1/2/3% of maximum mana
- Guardian's Favor (2) Reduces the cooldown of your Hand of Protection by 60 sec/2 min and increases the duration of your Hand of Freedom by 2/4 sec.
- Sacred Oath (3) Increases the damage you cause while using a one-handed weapon by 4/8/12% and increases the amount absorbed by your Sacred Shield by 10/20/30%
- Tier 3 talents
- Spiritual Attunement (2) A passive ability that gives the Paladin mana when healed by other friendly targets' spells. The amount of mana gained is equal to 5/10% of the amount healed.
- Divine Sacrifice (1) Instant. 2 min cooldown. 30% of all damage taken by party members within 30 yards is redirected to the Paladin (up to a maximum of 40% of the Paladin's health times the number of party members). Damage which reduces the Paladin below 20% health will break the effect. Lasts 10 sec.
- Improved Exorcism (2) Reduces the cast time of your Exocism spell by 0.75/1.5 secs and increases the damage by 10/20%
- Improved Devotion Aura (3) Increases the armor bonus of your Devotion Aura by 17/34/50% and increases the amount healed on any target affected by any of your Auras by 6%.
- Tier 4 talents
- Hallowed Ground (2) Increases the duration of your Consecration spell by 15/30 secs and the damage it causes by 10/20%.
- Vindication (2) Gives the Paladin's damaging attacks a chance to reduce physical damage done by the target by 5/10% for 10 sec.
- Shield of the Templar (2) Your Avenger's Shield has a 50/100% chance to silence your targets for 3 sec.
- Tier 5 talents
- Ardent Defender (1) Instant. 2 min cooldown. Activate to reduce damage taken by 20%. While active, attacks which would otherwise kill you cause you to be healed for 15% of your maximum health. Only useable when your health is below 35%.
- Divine Guardian (2) Reduces the cooldown of your Divine Sacrifice and Divine Plea abilities by 30/60secs.
- Holy Shield (3) Instant cast. 8 sec cooldown. Reduces the chance you'll be critically hit by melee attacks by 2/4/6%, and deals 97.8/195.6/293.41 Holy damage for each attack blocked.
- Tier 6 talents
- Sacred Duty (3) Increases your total Stamina by 5/10/15%, reduces the cooldown of your Divine Shield and Divine Protection spells by 1/2/3 min.
- Improved Crusader Strike (2) Reduces the cooldown of Crusader Strike by 2/4 secs and increases the damage caused by 50/100%
- Tier 7 talents
- Hammer of the Righteous (1) Instant cast. Hammer the current target and up to 2 additional nearby targets, causing 3 times your main hand damage per second as Holy damage.