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ret paladin guide; spec, gear, 3v3 stratz


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#1 clicker

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 06:41 PM

i have come to share my knowledge and experience with fellow paladins. i am the strongest retbelf. i play as ret in 3 different 3s teams, rated 2251, 2250 and 2132 in BATTLEGROUP BLOODLUST. my partners are a druid (serennia or cenz), a warrior (yoritomo, maldazzar or hoodrych) or a shaman (The Great Ronmexicoz). this article will focus on the tactics and strategies of worrir+dru/sham+retbelf and talent,gear choices specific to the retbelf.

before i get to stratz, i will address spec & gear.

gems: i focus on getting a lot of crit because crit is good for retbelfs. critical hits converted into normal hits by resilience still proc crithit effects like Vengeance. crit is also very good against pets which have zero resilience. i use the 20ap honor gem because i was too cheap to buy another pyrestone (maybe next week) and the 24ap jewelcrafting red. i have 2 5sta7critz for the blue meta gem requirement. all of my gems are epic because true champions play to win and gear is, unfortunately, a large part of winning. for meta, currently use a Relentless Earthstorm Diamond (12 agi & 3% extra crit damage), although in the past i experimented with Insightful Earthstorm Diamond (12 int % 5% mana restore for 300). the relentless gem provides probably an overall increase of 1.5% or so damage, which isn't much on its own. i have had some games where the extra 600-900 mana has been a deciding factor. i plan to switch back to the insightful next week. other meta gems which i advise against include powerful earthstorm (18sta 5% stun resist) because, although resisting stuns are great, stuns aren't as ubiquitous as the need for mana or damage. that meta also requires an extra blue and because paladin pvp gear has no blue sockets you'd need to use a mixed gem, which are usually weaker than a primary color. Enigmatic Skyfire (12 crit 5% rootsnare resist) requires luck and i dont have the gem requirement anyway because i have more yellowz than redz.

enchantz: most of them are obvious. i use 12 agi on boots because i like to crit. 12 sta is cool but imo damage is better once you've reached a baseline survivability (10k health 400res is good). surefooted requires luck (you might say "so does crit" but it's a different kind of luck because the root resist mechanic didnt exist until bc while meleecrits have been in forever). the 10 hit part of surefooted is wasted because of precision + hit on the arena stuff. that's also why i use 17str16int instead of 34ap16hit: the hit is redundant. 6stats over 15res because of style. obviously resilience is good but there are many games where you wont be attacked and the resilience is doin nothing, but the 6str6agi6int is omnipresent. weapon enchant: executioner. cloth targets only have 2500 armor, which is completely negated by 5 sunders, but there are many times when your primary target wont have a full stack (e.g. a mage that knows how2kite). you might also switch targets. mongoose is a far second because, tho the crit is good, the haste is insignificant. savagery is a close 3rd. i have enchanting for 4stats to rings because i play to win.

item choices: there arent many pve items i'd use over pvp stuff. cataclysms edge is nice but it doesnt have crit or resilience. i'd try some more armor pen stuff (trash neck, illidong ring, madness of betrayer) but my guild hasn't helped me kill kael so i don't even have holy pve stuff and i'm even less likely to get ret pve stuff. armor pen is a good stat for paladins because autoattack+crusader strike are both melee damage, which account for something like 60-70% of your total damage. the only item from a pve zone i'm looking forward to is Berserker's Call to upgrade bloodlust brooch.

SWORD, MACE OR AXE????? this is an important question so it deserves its own paragraph. axes are messy and should be used for splitting lumber, not limbs. religious men usually wielded maces because theyre less prone to bloodshed but i am a blood elf and i'm not afraid to see some gore (not as much as an axe mind you). next week i will buy the sword because it is efficient and cool. also the axe has ap instead of strength so if you ever pve with kings & divine strnegth youll be missing like 20 ap. if paladins had weapon spec talents i'd definitely use mace spec but until then looks are the deciding factor.

spec. 0-20-41 is the best arena spec, period. 5-11-45 variants lack stoicism and improved hammer of justice which are simply better than 100 ap and 1-2% more damage. i won't go into that too much but focus instead of the Ret filler talents.

tier1: benediction 5/5. this one is obvious. improved blessing of might sucks. first, assume you have might for the entire match. that's only 44 more ap. terrible.

tier2: 2 improved judgement. there are many times when i wished judgement was up 2 sec earlier against a faggot druid that trinkets joj (why is it trinketable? ugh). it's also a minor damage increase. doesn't matter where you put these points really. could dump 5 into parry if you're a defensive luckscrub. improved sotc is nice for the 3 crit, obv, and the holy damage is still useful for swapping to warlock pets (exorcism & hammer of wrath are affected by spell damage).

tier3: pursuit of justice 3/3, seal of command 1 (maybe 0 -- more on this later), 5 conviction, 1 vindication. i only put 1 in vind because this tier costs a lot of points and i prefer to have them in damage talent in the later tiers. the debuff functions fine as a "junk" buff. junk buffs are effects that have no significant purpose other than eating charges of dispel or cleanse. with stoicism and vindication, it's unlikely that a warlock or paladin will be able to dispel your hammers or seals of justice.

tier 4: 2 in crusade. the only slot i could move points from is Sanctified Judgement and i think maxing that is more important than 1% damage. i tried Eye for an Eye and i liked it a lot. every time a mage ice lances ya, he takes 600 or so damage. e4e is modified by all damage buffs (vengeance, avenging wrath, improved sanctity aura etc). unfortunately, it's not so hot against every other class besides mages -- and face it, you're never going to see elemental shamans in 3s. if your server has a lot of mage teams, pick up e4e over crusade. if you're alliance, drop the points in SancJudge, put 2 in e4e, 1 in crusade.

tier 5: 5 vengeance, duh. as belf, i have 3 in sancjudge for mana
tier 6: durr
tier 7: fanaticism isn't good in pvp. don't use it unless you're too cheap to respec from pve. tier 8: durr

in protection, the only choice is Improved Hammer of Justice or Imp COnc Aura. remember that ret paladins can't heal for shit, so conc aura does nothing except for your group. however, ronmexicoz picks up the resto talent that does the same thing, so my aura wouldn't help, and druids cast so little that they don't get much benefit from conc aura either. stick to sanctity aura; get imp hammer of wrath.

3v3 stratz coming soon. i have business to attend to so i'll write moar later
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#2 Ubergreg

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:30 PM

I would like a second high rated ret to comment on this.. I'm not doubting any of your comments but the overexagerated use of "z" and leet speak has somewhat hurt your credibility.

Also, I believe Conc Aura and Healing focus stack. I might be wrong tho, so don't go all out on me.
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#3 Flowbie

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:54 PM

credibility? 2100+ in all brackets as a ret pally on bloodlust

credibility...
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#4 Kags

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:00 PM

It doesnt seem like you put very much time into this.

Good point on the mana restore gem, but i think with bendiction and sanct judgement it is close to impossible to go oom.
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#5 Dragoth

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:14 PM

I won't go into your writing style since it's not important, but will point out two things that struck me as rather unlikely (even though I don't play a paladin).


critical hits converted into normal hits by resilience still proc crithit effects like Vengeance.


This would be a surprise since an avoided crit only triggers *defensive* talents, at least as far as I know.
But since vengeance is an offensive talent, meaning it procs on the crits you DEALT (not the crits you SUFFERED), the talent will be nullified by unless you score a real crit.

armor pen is a good stat for paladins because autoattack+crusader strike are both melee damage, which account for something like 60-70% of your total damage.


I might be mistaken, but isn't crusader strike a holy damage-ability (which uses your normal damage as a base for calculation, but deals holy type damage, which by the way is awesome)?
I have heard that they are planning to make it deal physical damage instead of holy, but this is just a rumour as far as I am concerned. So, would someone please clarify if this is the case or not.
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#6 Legendz

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:45 PM

crusader strike is affected by armor
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#7 Baconn

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:39 AM

This post would be good if;

It wasn't typed in 3rd grade format/grammar
Spent less time on enchants, gear and talents
Spent more time on what to do against what combos
Included what your most choice insults are for your shaman

Underrated surefooted: a 5% chance to completely negate a frost nova, and 1% hit vs .48 crit

The crit vs ap debate goes on all the time, but I'd say AP is more valuable: having over 30% crit is a fair amount, especially since like you said, crits blocked by resilience turned into non-crits do generate vengeance. That, and with more ap, when you crit, you'll crit for a ton. Best balance I found was orange in yellow slots, red gems in red slots.

I got the enigmatic skyfire, and it does stack with Surefooted. 10% snare resist, and some crit on the side is great. We don't need insightful earthstorm. If mana is ever that big of a deal, you can just bless wisdom and use rank 1 SoC, and save mana for crusader strikes at the right time. Or, wait till you get feared and then just back out to drink for 6 seconds.

Never get axe for weapons, since you'll lose out on king's bonus ap and divine strength if you ever respec for a raiding ret build.

PVE gear is good for 2s, but that's basically it. If you get some kind of outrageous piece you might be able to swap it for a piece or two of vindicator's, but it's usually a good idea to keep on resilience for anything other than 2s.

We all know the talent builds, move along.
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#8 Fierss

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:59 AM

Include what your most choice insults are for your shaman

You mean other than the one word the forum rules won't let me type?
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#9 Kags

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 03:26 AM

Underrated surefooted: a 5% chance to completely negate a frost nova, and 1% hit vs .48 crit


With only the standard s3 gear and precision, you are already hit capped, so the hit on surefooted is wasted.
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#10 Kawklee

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 04:18 AM

I think someone just registered clicker's char to their own accnt. But, idk.
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#11 Kadrix

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 12:42 AM

Crusader Strike is a full-physical attack since 2.3.2? or so.
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#12 Baconn

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 01:30 AM

can somebody tell me what faction's posts were?
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#13 Kadrix

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 08:14 AM

He was just being a idiot insulting people.
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#14 Sigurd

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 02:42 PM

I agree with most of what he said (less with how he said it) except Crit v. AP. If you're gemming, Strength is going to get you better returns than Crit. Surefooted is also better than 12 Agility because of what was stated. Resisting a Freeze (and preventing a shatter combo) while KS'ed beats 12agi any day.
The only other thing I have to say is Signet of Primal Wrath is a good second ring paired with Vindicator's.
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#15 Vander

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:03 PM

guess I'll get surefooted then instead of 12 stamina
... sucks being poor :(
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#16 goodknight

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 01:56 AM

Crusader Strike is a full-physical attack since 2.3.2? or so.


Since always
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#17 Kadrix

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 02:13 AM

It was part of your weapon damage and 30% of you holy damage iirc.
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#18 Baconn

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 04:01 AM

Crusader Strike: deals 100% weapon damage and 40% of your holy spell damage as damage.

until 2.3.2 when it was changed to 110% weapon damage.
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#19 Kags

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 05:41 PM

the holy bonus damage wasnt dealt as holy, it was dealt as physical
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