Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Retribution Paladin: Group Support

As you may all know, I've been leveling a retribution paladin. Mainly because I'm contrary, but also because it's fun to stretch.

Everyone, everywhere, says that until you can really get the gear, your retribution paladin is going to do less damage than Sleepy Willy. Because of this, you may have a hard time getting a group unless you 1: form it yourself or 2: run with friends.

So I'm going to pick option #2! My Paladin, Kvasira (I particularly like the part about Beet Juice) hit 60 the other day and I cajoled Owaru and Boon into doing the epic paladin quest with me. So 60, epic charger, and outlands! Time for fun!

I'm duo-ing/quartet-ing with Fyzzgig(Warrior:Boon)/Teppou(Hunter:Owaru) and Zeshura(Priest:Neshura). And then we decided to hit Hellfire Ramparts. Everyone (except Tep, who was 58/59) was 60 (I was 61). Our first run we picked up a rogue that was 62. And we only had one quasi-wipe where for a reason I still don't understand (though, I think it was a hunter pet!) we pulled two groups instead of one.

And through trial and error and just sheer intuition (and let's face it, it's me. I always know what to do!) I figured out what my job is. I'm catch-all lady!

I don't know why the hunter's trap kept pulling off of him and coming to me (and no, I was not using consecrate!) but it did when I wasn't doing anything to it (nor was I healing!). So I still need how to figure out how to not pull the hunter trap off of the hunter by merely breathing. :P And I only Hammer of Justice'd it when it was hitting me a lot. I'm not a tank, I can't take that type of damage! I blame the hunter. Thankfully, my blame translated into the game deciding to teach him a lesson and he died a few times. (Blizzard loves me.)

But Hammer of Justice and Repentence (Cast out your corrupt thoughts!) lets me keep a non-tanked/non-CC'd mob out of the way for roughly 12 seconds. Long enough for myself and a second DPS to burn down either the non-elite dogs or one of the elite casters. And even if it doesn't, at least that mob is coming to hit me instead of bee-lining for the healer! Plate > Cloth. Plate DPS > Plate Healer.

Now, Fyzzgig claims that I should let him tank more mobs. And to a certain extent, he's right. But on the other hand, if you have what amounts to as a tank and an offtank, why not use your offtank? There are plenty of times where I'm marking and I'll stick the DPS warrior on something that is easily killed and doesn't hit very hard on plate to burn it down, so the real tank can concentrate on the things that need to stay tanked.

My role also includes offhealing when the priest is otherwise busy (she's being killed by something: macro! /target healer /cast Blessing of Protection), keeping the healer alive (see previous comment regarding macro!), tossing out the occasional heal when the priest has to spam-heal the tank, healing the priest so she takes less healing aggro for healing herself, keeping party buffs up on people (and after reading RetLoL a bit more, I'm going to go for Blessing of Kings down the prot tree), stunning/temporary CC and swift death to non-tanked/non-elite mobs and as a raid wipe protector (Divine Intervention! I'm just itching to use this. I haven't had the chance to, yet.). (Though.. I just got a great idea! Heehee.)

So, maybe I'm third DPS on the DPS meter. But someone has to be! It may as well be someone who is also a group support member! This way, I can claim that my DPS isn't the highest because I'm so busy doing other things! :P It's a lie... but at least I can say it. With a swing timer in place, I can usually heal and other things while all my cooldowns are readying and while my weapon is in mid-swing. Or, I should say, I try to do it at those times. Sometimes though, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Now, at higher levels this may change a little bit, because I'll have beautiful gear and I'll be outDPSing Illidan.. but until then, I've resigned myself to trying to just do my best and not shame retribution paladins everywhere!

On a plus side: Seal of Crusader now gives Crusader Strike a 40% damage increase. Nummy.

And, polling people for a response here. Which is more important? Judgement of Justice on a mob that has the potential to run into another group, or keep up Judgement of the Crusader for use on Judgement of Command? I'm talking your average mob, average instance, average location and average time til death?

Fyzz says Justice. I say Crusader. His rational is: My DPS is less important than a potential party wipe. My rational is: If I'm going to get Justice off in time, considering how fast most mobs die, I don't think I'm going to be able to judge Crusader at all and my DPS is already so dependent on gear and spells, that it'll make me less useful in a group than a Dragonhawk around Crowd Control. That and also because by the time they're ready to run, they're so dead that a Hammer of Wrath will almost kill them (if not kill them outright), and if the DPS is doing their jobs (ie: following the kill order until said mob is dead, the only person who should be jumping the kill order is the tank!), it won't get more than two staggering steps, anyway!

Chime in and let me know what you think! People who have paladins or who have run with retribution paladins, love to hear from you especially!

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