Last time around I didn't get my paladin to 70 until just before Season 4, and I don't PvP on my druid main, so I entered the arena game late and arguably suffered for it. My 2v2 team hit 1600 so I guess we didn't suck, but we were pretty sure that if I'd been PvP-ing earlier in the year our BM hunter/holy pally duo would have performed much better.
My partner started the season in the best gear that points alone could buy, and I was in welfare blues I'd bought with faction rep. We finished better geared than that and I did improve substantially over the course of the season, but the later weeks were rougher on us than the earlier ones, especially once arena rating became a barrier to buying new gear. We topped at 1600, but that was three or four weeks before the end of the season and we never recovered.
I didn't want to make that mistake this time around, but because at the end of the day I prefer raiding to PvP, Hana made the trip up to Northrend first and Gillien has only done a few instances and daily cooking quests (because I never learned cooking on Hana and I need someone to make my supply of raid food).
Now the arenas are open, the gear is out, and Gillien is still 70.
I don't want arenas to pass me by entirely, but I have a lot of work to do if I'm going to get a second character to 80 in time to enjoy a portion of season 5 while still attending raids three or four nights a week. I'm still not done with all the quests in Storm Peaks and Icecrown, I have reputations to grind (*cough* Sons of Hodir), and I often get roped into heroics out of friendship or social obligation, which leaves me little time to work on leveling a second character.
One thing I am pleased about though is the spec I've been planning for when Gillien is level 80. Megan from Out of Mana also plays a holy paladin, and since she's earned a higher arena rating than I would ever dream of, I think I should be able to trust her judgment. And the spec she listed in this post is remarkable close to what I've been planning. It's nice to have some sort of confirmation that I may be on the right track even if there are still a couple talent placements I might disagree on.
I know holy/ret is the way to go in PvE, but Gillien was intended to be "that annoying PvP healer." I still intend to be that person, and I don’t think the increased crit from the ret tree will make up for the lack of PvP talents like Stoicism and Improved Hammer of Justice in the prot tree. Arena, and to a lesser degree the BGs, require more than just throughput. Being able to resist stuns and dole them out more frequently can make or break an encounter.
Just like a moonkin does zero damage if her spell misses, a paladin does zero healing while stunned.
Tonight isn't a raid night, so if I can sneak out of heroics and finish my Sons of Hodir dailies uninterupted I'm gonna try getting a few more bars of experience under Gillien's belt. I've seen the new PvP gear and I want it… *drool*
The third generation of pay to win
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