Maximization through Diversification

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

So, Svenn has been raiding Ret for all of a week now. The learning curve has been steep though fortunately gearing up has not been a problem as tanking leads to insta-cues and great tanking gear lends itself nicely to fast runs. Over the course of the past week he has discovered some flaws in his spec- as well as some better ways to go about doing business. As he alluded to last week seals, glyphs, and librams make a big difference, so lets get started.

There are really only 2 options Seal of Vengance and Seal of Command. Seal of Command is hands down the best bet for AoEing down trash. Its effect procs on multiple mobs after every melee strike as well as all single target abilities such as Crusader Strike and Exorcism. The fact that its proc has a chance to crit truly sets it apart from Seal of Vengance in this situation.

Seal of Vengance on the other hand, yields superior DPS in single target scenarios. The stacking dot hits hard at higher gear levels, and the extra % weapon damage once it reaches the full 5 stacks is nice as well. The glyph associated with this seal (as discussed below) seals the deal for single target Vengance (terrible pun intended:).

With those principles in mind, seal switching based on situation becomes pretty obvious. This applies to tanking as well. With Seal of Command conveniently located in the 3rd tier of the Ret tree (the tree where most of the extra points for a prot pally will be spent anyways), not picking it up is a huge oversight which result in both time and TpS loss.

Glyph switching was a foreign concept to Svenn until he started healing more on his tree- swapping glyphs depending on his role as either raid heals or tank heals. The benefits of re-glyphing are clear for trees, but the concept applies to Pallys as well. Milage out of the glyphs will vary based on situation- hence the concept of glyph switching.

Glyph of Exorcism is the only “Must Have” major glyph for Ret.
Glyph of Seal of Command is nice if you are chain pulling trash or short on replenishment, but overall is not worth giving up a slot for.
Glyph of Crusader Strike, much like the Seal of Command Glyph, is good if you find yourself short on mana, but not a strong overall option.
Glyph of Holy Wrath is indispensable in a place like ICC, but not a huge value in single target fights or places where no undead are present.
Glyph of Judgement is a nice boost in single target fights, but has limited application elsewhere.
Glyph of Vengeance is indispensable for single target fights. While expertise is not a stat worth gemming for, you won’t get better mileage than 10 free expertise out of any of the other options.

As with seals, glyph switching becomes pretty obvious if you are trying to maximize output over the course of a raid. Unlike seals, re-glyphing costs more than just mana- this cost is no more than that of normal raid consumables, and when looked at in that light, is not a big deal. (You can save some cash by buying in bulk, or having an inscriptionist mill your own herbs and make the glyphs for you- letting them keep any rare pigments will more than suffice as a tip for their time and effort.)

Untill you are able to get the Frost Badge Libram (either Libram of the Eternal Tower or Libram of Three Truths), libram switching is yet another way to maximize output based on situation.

For Prot Pallies the decision to use Libram of Defiance or Libram of the Sacred Shield is going to be based on whether you want to see larger DPS returns from abilities like Shield of the Righteous and Holy Shield or, if avoidance is more important such as in the Saurfang fight, where dodges can delay the stacking of marks.

For Ret Pallies the choice is far more clear cut. Using Libram of Valiance does not make much sense if you don't have Seal of Vengeance up, in those cases (AoE with SoC up), Libram of Discord outperforms Libram of Valiance despite its lower ilvl and vice versa on single target fights.

If you are concerned with squeezing the most performance possible out of your Pally, itemization based on content and role can be achieved cheaply through Seal, Glyph, and Libram swapping without expensive respecs and gem changes.


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