Paladin talent tier discussion will be updated every Thursday, and this week I will talk briefly about the talent choices available to level 15 characters.
I’m really pleased with the theme and placement of these talent choices. Paladins have long (and frequently) complained about run speed and gap closers, and Tier 1 addresses those issues. It also gives new paladins a huge boost in questing and PvP, which will help make their experience more enjoyable. Before looking at each talent individually, its clear that is a well placed, well designed talent tier.
Speed of Light – Increases your run speed by 70% for 8 seconds. (1 min cooldown, 3.5% base mana)
Long Arm of the Law – A successful Judgment increases your movement speed by 45% for 3 seconds.
Pursuit of Justice – You gain 10% movement speed at all times, plus an additional 10% movement speed for each current charge of Holy Power up to 3.
Let’s start with the obvious. SoL is the biggest speed boost, but also has the longest downtime at 52 seconds out of each minute. LAotL and PoJ have the potential for the highest uptime, but contain significant differences. If you are currently engaged in combat and using Holy Power regularly for damage, healing, or mitigation you are going to see a significant drop in your mobility when using PoJ. PoJ will provide a roller-coaster type of movement increase, which may be less than pleasant for some people. LAofL is a nice talent, and the provided buff will plenty fast to get out of the bad, or to close the gap. The developers gave LAotL a duration that prevents it from being a home run talent though. At a duration of 3 seconds there are going to be times where it falls off, and you’ll be back to your base run speed since this talent contains no passive boost.
Speed of Light
I see this as the go-to talent for serious raiders. A huge movement boost (with a long duration) on a reasonably short cooldown means that you have mobility when you want or need it (think Atramedes). The only drawback is its cooldown. The reason that I categorize it as both short and too long is that its usefulness will vary by encounter. Consider Yor’shaj, a fight requiring constant movement (at least it FEELS that way). When switching targets you don’t need to move this fast, but you do need to move frequently. In an an encounter like that I might prefer…
Long Arm of the Law
A nice talent, with some situational usage in raids, dungeons, or battlegrounds when you feel the need to move frequently trumps the need to move quickly. I already gave you the best example I can think of to use a talent like this previous (Yor’shaj) so I don’t have much more to say about this one. I can tell you that this will be my PvP talent though. I don’t want to bank HP or wait for a cooldown to close gaps between me and ranged players. The only drawback is the lack of a passive movement boost.
Pursuit of Justice
I really appreciate what the design team tried to do with this talent. I like it a lot in terms of creativeness, but I think it lacks practical use in PvP or PvE endgames situations. I know that run speed enchants for raiding is a popular thing, and that some people might take this talent for the passive 10% boost and skip the run speed enchant, but I’m not one of them (because I don’t use run speed enchants. Yeah. I went there). One thing I will use this talent for is questing and leveling. I can’t tell you how frequently in Cataclysm or in the MoP beta I kill a mob with a few HP leftover, and using the speed boost to get to the next mob has been really useful.
Which talent will you be taking?