Edit: Thanks to an observant commentator I have made some changes to this post. The edited portions are in italics, the errors are crossed out, or were removed.
Last week I covered the first tier of Paladin talents available at level 15. This week I’ll be discussing our Tier 2 talents, the theme of which is crowd control.
I’m going to be upfront about my discomfort with this talent tier, which is mostly based around the idea that I don’t like having our baseline stun (Hammer of Justice, HoJ) removed. I understand that most classes don’t have a stun available across all three specs, but it was something I had become accustomed to. It makes the decision difficult for me, and maybe other paladins too. Whoops, huge gaff there. Turns out that FoJ will replace/modify the original ability. That doesn’t change my opinions of the other two talents, but it certainly does change the thought process that goes into choosing which one to take.
Fist of Justice – Stuns the target for 6 seconds. Replaces Hammer of Justice. (3.5% base mana, 30 second CD)
Repentance – Puts the enemy target in a state of meditation, incapacitating them for up to 1 min. Any damage from sources other than Censure will awaken the target. Usable against Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids and Undead. (10.5% base mana, 1.5 sec cast)
Burden of Guilt – Your Judgment hits fill your target with doubt and remorse, reducing movement speed by 50% for 12 sec.
In Mists we can go from stunning people with a hammer to stunning them with our fists, and do it twice as often, as this talent will reduce the cooldown of the stun by 50%. This is a good all-around talent, which can get lots of mileage in PvP and PvE. I’m curious about its effect in PvE dungeons and raids though. In the past I kept HoJ on my action bar as a backup spell cast interrupt, but the longer Cataclysm went on, the fewer fights there were that forced me to use all the utility available to me. If/When I PvP as Prot or Ret I will probably be using this talent since I will be in melee range, and being able to control/interrupt multiple healers will make me happy. I am skeptical of its usefulness in PvE, but if boss interrupts are critical it will definitely be something to consider.
Well, not really, but the cast time and effect accomplish the same thing, so I think it is the best analogy to help Holy and Prot paladins who don’t use Repentance currently to decide whether they want it. This is also another case of “Do we need it?” Early Cataclysm heroics were tuned so high that CC was necessary on some trash pulls, and if that is true again I will likely be using this ability in dungeons and raids when speced Holy or Ret. From a PvP perspective, I’ll take this if I decide to spec as Holy or Shockadin.
Good Old Fashioned Guilt
This ability mimics another (or maybe its the other way around, but who cares) that will be up for discussion next week in my Death Knight talent previews called Chilblains. This is a talent I like a lot, making this tier a hard one when it comes to choices, which (I guess) means that it was a moderately successful design for Blizzard. I know that my Prot spec will be using this one which should make kiting trash (when necessary of course) easier to do. This also has good value for Ret and Holy in a PvP capacity when it necessary to keep your distance. When combined with a talent discussed last week, Long Arm of the Law, PvPing paladins have a pretty strong escape and gap-closing mechanic. The only way I can see this mechanic having value in boss encounters is if it can effect multiple targets during an add phase that requires kiting, like Magmaw.
All in all this is a pretty well-designed tier with some tough choices and interesting synergy with other talent tiers. The only bad choice I can think of is putting one of these talents on your action bar and then never using it!