Monday, October 27, 2008

[Paladin] Headless Horseman Totally Tankable as Holy

Next time somebody says "LF tank for HH" I just might be tempted to volunteer.

I was invited on Hana to an HH run by some out-of-guild friends, former Bloodl├╝sters, and we did our five runs. It was late in the night so I doubted I'd go on another run with Gillien, so I offered to bring him in for a sixth summon. Our tank was convinced to switch to his mage so we could get a seventh summon by his girlfriend, who has been on several of Gillien's holy tanking runs. When he asked who would tank without him, she replied, "Gillien will tank!"

This was followed by a short exchange about whether or not Gillien was still holy to which I replied that I always tank as holy. I'm not sure he realized I wasn't joking. (Though to be honest, once dual specs come out, Gillien will have an actual prot spec.)

So we ran in there and though I was initially a little concerned about how much damage I would take, it turned out that it was completely unnecessary. A holy paladin in Kara-level tanking gear and no damage reduction or avoidance talents can totally take Headless Horseman.

And wow the threat! This was Gillien's first real fight as a tank since the patch and his threat was through the roof. I remember as my party members got better geared I used to have to struggle to stay on top of threat. Now it's all cake, and I don't have Holy Shield to give me reflective damage.

I hadn't tanked much post-patch, just because there hasn't been a need to. One of our druids that dinged 70 decided he'd go feral for PvE and one of our officers decided to go prot with his warrior so we've been oddly stuffed with tanks of late (not that I'm complaining). It's not like it was when I was leveling Gillien and I tanked every single instance in Outland because we otherwise wouldn't have one. My post-patch tanking prior to Headless Horseman was limited to an UBRS fun run to get the Jenkins title.

So I wasn't sure how my new 53/8/0 spec would do for tanking. I chose it for PvP, more specifically arena, in hopes of getting another piece of S4 before the xpac lands (so far, arena stability has sucked so I actually can't tell if my spec is working :P), and I was lacking the Toughness talent to increase my armor. My 8 points in Protection are for Blessing of Kings and Stoicism. Not exactly tanking goodness there. Fortunately, the increased threat formerly from Improved Righteous Fury is now hard baked into the paladin's base Righteous Fury so I was only missing the 6% damage reduction by not taking it.

Though I did manage to tank all the whelplings for my Jenkins title, fighting an actual 70 boss would arguably be tougher, especially since the Headless Horseman was, at least last year, considered the same difficulty as a heroic boss, and I'd never tanked a heroic as holy.

But it all worked out.

I'd kept multiple tanking sets prior to patch 3.0.2 and as expected, post-patch the stats on them changed a lot. The downside was, out of my three tanking sets (avoidance, threat, and middle of the road) only my avoidance set allowed me to remain uncrittable. I anticipated losing the 20 points of defense from the change to Anticipation, but I didn't think I would lose more than that, which is what actually happened.

The main issue I think is that I need a new tanking weapon since spell damage just doesn't seem to be where it's at anymore. I tossed aside my old [Crystalforged Sword] and used my [Gavel of Naaru Blessings] against Headless Horseman because it would give me better threat (even though it was still spell damage) and stamina, but what I could have really used is something more strength on it.

For holy tanking Seal of Corruption seems to be where it's at now, much like prot tanking. Even in my old threat set where I have more spell damage, it still makes sense to use Corruption over Righteous, which makes me wonder if that seal even has a use as holy dps anymore. I'll have to try running some tests when I'm in my full holy set. It'll be useful to know come Northrend.

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