As many of you probably know by now the end of Season 8 for Arena has brought about Wrathful gear being sold regardless of previous arena standings. As a result large numbers of people including myself, have been swarming the BG's for the long grind to buy some new gear.
Not only was this a change to buy my first ever PvP Shield(and possibly the only skin of Icecrown Glacial Wall that I will get) and my first PvP Weapon since Kara, but It was a prime chance to see how well Prot was doing in PvP after the big changes.
The first and most obvious change was that as expected I could no longer burst down a healer in the space of one Avengers Shield, Hammer of Justice combo. However this was offset by the increase in AS use thanks to the shorter CD and Grand Crusader.
The other thing that is now a boost when taking on a healer is my improved healing thanks to Word of Glory, while I may not be able to always kill them I can sure outlast them and their small damage thanks to this lovely spell. This of cause lead me to redo my specs to include one all purpose tank spec, dropping EG and IJ to improve my AoE and one pure DPS spec with full points in Eternal Glory. It is wonderful just how useful that chance at a free WoG is at ether pulling me from the edge or keeping the pressure on the healer while keeping myself up.
I really am using this far more than I though I would, not just for myself but to top off other to.
The next obvious change and to me the most welcomed is the removal of Divine Plea as a crutch for our mana management. While this change was nice in PvE, to me it was a must for PvP. As a Prot Pally there was nothing worse than having DP drop of for what ever reason and be completely useless for the next 30-45 sec while you wait for the CD to drop.
Thanks to this I have only had to stop to drink in very taxing time such as having to rely on my own heals to top up before the next fight/helping to heal someone. It is truly freeing to be able to use what I need to when I need to and not worry whether DP will let me.
On the point of heals, not having DP up constantly means that if we are needed to top off a Flag Carrier or what not mid fight we can without being gimped.
As for our nerfs I quickly felt the lack of a magic dispel with Frost Mages etc becoming considerably harder to kill. Hand of Freedom helps but that CD drags out forever then you can't Crusader Strike because they are just out of melee range.
The removal of Sacred Shield is also felt alot particularly against Rogues and Locks whose DoT's would be eaten by the shield, I now take the full hit and combined with an increase in stun potential from rogues I am no longer their worst nightmare. Sure I can still blow them up particularly if I enter combat with full Holy Power but the balance has indeed shifted.
A particularly nice change that has gone quite un recorded is that when you rez in a BG you come back with full HoPo. While this is not to useful most of the time it does come in very handy when the Horde are at your GY/Base so that you can some out swinging. I have still yet to check if this only works in BG's or if it always happens on rez.
Overall I have noticed I take a lot more damage, however with WoG I can also survive a lot longer which in most cases ends up as an increase. I really cannot wait to test us out at 85 with the new Pursuit of Justice and a strong Arena team, I am confident we will be more annoying to caster and more useful to friends than ever before. My only problem now is that more than ever I feel we need a separate spec for PvP, at lease for hybrid classes.
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