Q: Is Haste still good for 5.4?
Indeed it is, there’s been no significant changes to the Paladin class to make us not use Haste.
Q: What’s Haste cap?
50% (21250 rating) unbuffed melee Haste is the “soft” cap for Prot (and Ret). Beyond that, our GCD is no longer lowered past 1 second, but we continue to benefit from Sanctity of Battle. This combination leads to a sub-optimal and inefficient HoPo (Holy Power) generation rate due to ability clashing with CDs/GCD, which is why after this cap, we will turn to another stat. As a side note, we still continue to benefit from spell haste regardless of the melee cap, so don’t be worried about that, it’s melee that needs attention.
Q: Wait what? So what do we do when/if we reach the Haste cap?
Before even tackling this answer, it’s worth noting that a lot of people are assuming that cap will be easily reached and are seeking advice on what to stack next. The truth of the matter is that some BiS builds with 2/2 upgraded Heroic WF (Warforged, the new Thunderforged) even barely just hit Haste cap. Some of the gear people won’t even see at all. Note that this more relates to 4P builds for next tier, which is almost mandatory if you go with Eternal Flame (EF), and you probably will (more on that below).
So why is it so weirdly hard to reach this cap? Because we are replacing two trinkets with a lot of Haste and Hit on them (among other things), and need to make up the lost stats (Feather and Spark). Trinkets next tier don’t have a lot of available Haste on them (kind of, more on that below). Furthermore some pieces with Haste on them this tier won’t have it next tier etc.
So are there easier ways to reach this cap? Sure absolutely there’s many ways. Don’t use 4P T16, keep old trinkets, gem pure Haste, use certain trinkets from T16, get Strength gear with Crit on it that also has Haste. And I’m sure there’s a bunch of other things. I don’t really recommend some of these. There’s no point desperately trying to reach Haste cap just for the sake of reaching it, while decreasing your survivability in certain ways, such as sacrificing tons of Stam or other useful stats, or dodging great socket bonuses just to squeeze out more Haste. Some things are fine, but no one should go crazy, after all your main job as the tank is to stay alive, so just make sure that extra Haste is net survivability. So now that you’ve reached that cap, what to do? Well you have a few options. Namely Mastery, Crit, Avoidance, Stamina. The short answer is: none are completely wrong (although some are less preferable). Obviously less legit choices are Crit and Avoidance. Avoidance isn’t terrible with the Grand Crusader change, but isn’t as good as Mastery or Stamina. And Crit, well the only defensive argument for it is with use of EF. So the better choices really come down to Mastery and Stam. This is an argument we’ve seen time and time again, the classic mitigation vs sponge. Again this all comes down to the fight and what it calls for. You can refer to the Haste vs Stam argument in the 5.2 section for that. For what it’s worth, I will personally be going with Mastery. Aside from my known love of mitigation and smoothing, Mastery just plays to new awesome factors in 5.4 on top of what it does normally, namely EF.
Q: Ok, so what’s the deal with Eternal Flame? Please don’t take my Sacred Shield away Slooty 🙁
There is A LOT to say about this topic, and I don’t want to really write a novel here. What you need to know on a basic level, is that SS was nerfed by 30% for Prot and EF was buffed by 40%. Furthermore, EF just has so many nice perks to it, which play nicely into some gear choices too. I will add links at the end of this for those who want to read further about EF and why it is generally better next tier, there you can see detailed arguments and layouts. As a result of SS and EF changes, EF heals about 3-4 times as much per SS absorb, that’s a lot. I’ve made a little elementary spreadsheet to help outline for people just how much more healing EF does, keeping in mind that you get 2 ticks of EF per SS absorb. Don’t touch the gray areas, just put your Mastery % in the green area.
EF vs SS Spreadsheet
The main idea behind this question, is to help people understand the facts, that way the choice you make will be an educated one. Please refer to these 2 links to read more in depth about the power and advantages of EF (and also its disadvantages):
Maintankadin EF vs SS Thread
Sacred Duty EF Post
If you’re too lazy to read, then the answer is yes, EF is generally better than SS next tier, don’t be shy to part ways with your good friend from this entire expansion so far. EF in fact is slightly better than SS without 4PT16, once you get that, EF pulls even further ahead of SS, and yes for both 10 and 25 man since Vengeance levels affect both SS and EF. A small case can be made for SS in 10 man since tank damage intake is generally smaller, but not as a significant argument or enough to make SS dominate EF. As they say, change is good, and personally I’m looking very forward to EF.
Q: What does your BiS list look like for this tier?
I’d like to preface by saying that there is no ultimate BiS list this tier, in large part due to the plethora of viable trinkets available, and the choice between no piece and 4P T16. As I am a launcher of the crusade for EF, I will definitely be using it and therefore picking up the mandatory 4P for EF use. Also remember I am Human, and therefore get a free 340 Expertise (1%) for maces and swords. Here we go:
Sloot 5.4 BiS List
Every piece aside for trinkets isn’t too subject to change for me. Again trinkets vary a lot, as you will see below. It’s very possible I missed something as I didn’t spend too much time making this, if you see something or have a suggestion let me know.
Q: So many trinkets! You no take trinket! Which one is right for me?
There’s basically 7 viable Prot Paladin trinkets this tier (other trinkets can work, but those are starting to enter really questionable and non-ideal territory). Some people may argue 2 of these aren’t considerations, but I’m just here to give the facts, and you can use them as you will. Firstly, here is the list, in no particular order:
1. Thok’s Tail Whip
2. Purified Bindings of Immerseus
3. Vial of Living Corruption
4. Black Blood of Y’Shaarj
5. Rook’s Unlucky Talisman
6. Juggernaut’s Focusing Crystal
7. Fusion-Fire Core
Some of these don’t need an explanation at all but the weird outliers I’m sure you’re thinking are the Int trinkets. So, I’ll just copy and paste a post I made in Maintankadin:
“With a ‘thinking outside the box’ mentality, I’m fairly confident 2 caster trinkets are strong considerations in our 2nd trinket slot for mitigation builds.
Since I’m a Thok’s advocate, why not goes balls out and use the caster amp trinket too? Literally the same thing with an Int proc. Yeah obviously Int isn’t ideal, but at least it has use with increasing spell crit, which means EF crits and some offensive crits too. That’s another ~2800 rating worth of static rating for haste/mastery, with yet another bonus to crit damage/healing. That’s a pretty big deal in my books, and consequently gets you right about to haste cap based on that 4P build I posted.
The second option is Black Blood of Y’shaarj. 2520 static haste rating for 580ilvl, so if you want your haste, there you go. It has a feather’s style stacking int RPPM proc. With respect to int, see previous paragraph, yes it actually has uses.”
The other trinkets are fairly self-explanatory, and some are fairly situational obviously. So which trinkets are best? Unfortunately the answer is: it depends on the fight. More magic damage? Take a Stam trinket or two. Pure physical mitigation fight? Take your pick of mitigation stat-boosting trinkets. Heavy AoE? Take the AoE reduction. Need to help with cleave damage? Take the cleave trinket. You can see where this is going. It’s your job to assess the fight and what your raid needs most from you, and further how you play, and match the trinkets accordingly.
Q: Is Battle Healer dead? And if so what Glyphs are we going with?
Yes it’s dead. Aside that same glyphs as before basically. For majors choose (depending on fight and needs) between Alabaster/Focused Shield/Divine Protection/Word of Glory/Final Wrath and very situationally Devotion Aura/Hand of Sacrifice/Dazing Shield. Don’t forget about the Focused Wrath minor, it has its uses.
Q: Which legendary meta and cloak will you use?
I 110% recommend any tank in any difficulty on any class during 5.4 progression uses the meta gem. It was buffed heavily, and the DPS one was nerfed anways.
The cloak is a bit different. I definitely recommend the tank cloak for 25 man progression, it procced a lot during PTR testing. 10 man is more arguable because of the lower tank damage. This means there’s a good chance you’ll never even see the cloak proc sometimes, in which case it might be wise to sometimes use the DPS one. Keep in mind, you can carry both legendary cloaks, so it would be advisable and handy to have both in your bags to swap whenever you deem best.
Q: What’s the best tank in 5.4?
No one tank class is best. I believe as a full package Paladins/Monks/Warriors will be top with Druids/DKs not far at all. The discrepancy between them all is very small, so play what you enjoy playing unless you are doing cutting edge progression.
Q: Will you be doing Slootcasts again this tier after your kills?
Yes, but not immediately after each kill.
Q: Will you be streaming 5.4 progression?
We will be streaming all of normals with Mumble for most if not all of them.
For heroics, we will have the same rules as last tier, which are too long to list here frankly. But the general idea is any later hard boss that our competition is around, and no guilds or barely any guilds have killed it, there is a chance we won’t stream, for obvious reasons. Ultimately it’s our call in the end and there is no rule set in stone. For reference, last tier only Lei Shen and Ra-Den weren’t streamed during progression. Very often, we will not be streaming Mumble for heroic progression, but that shouldn’t matter much, unless you are there to steal strats, which is why we are muting.
Where’s your hair?
Sco took it /shakes fist.