Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mists of Pandaria and the Possible Return of the Shockadin

Thus far in the Mists of Pandaria beta I haven't really done much of anything. Most of my "adventures", if they can even be called that, have involved running around Stormwind City and experimenting with the various spells, talents, and glyphs available in the beta thus far. However, one of the things that I have been noticing—and getting increasingly excited about—is that a preliminary look at what's available seems to suggest that the Shockadin may be making a return soon. The evidence for such is still slim, but ultimately it comes down to two particular glyphs:

  • Glyph of Holy ShockHoly Shock, as you may know, is one of the signature abilities of the Holy specialization, and is the reason why the Shockadin is named such. While it isn't a particularly powerful damage-dealing ability initially, the glyph halves its healing potential in exchange for doubling its damage-dealing capability. Considering how central Holy Shock's damage is to the entire concept of the Shockadin itself, this glyph is essentially what makes the Shockadin potentially viable.
  • Glyph of DenounceDenounce is a new Holy-only ability learned at level 20 that basically acts as our spammable ranged nuke. It's incredibly cheap, and has the added benefit of preventing its target from being able to deal critical strikes for 4 seconds after being hit. When glyphed, Denounce also gives the Paladin a 6-second buff that increases Holy damage by 20%—and virtually all damage a Shockadin deals is Holy damage, which makes this glyph a significant boost in DPS.

While the two above glyphs essentially act as the heart of the beta Shockadin, there are some additional factors to be considered

  • Sacred Shield is one of our level 45 talent choices. It provides a 30 second buff on a single target that occasionally acts as a damage shield, but also increases the critical effect chance of Word of Glory by 30%. While this may not seem like that big of a deal, the lack of a Holy Power cost (unlike its alternative, Eternal Flame) and the buff to Word of Glory allows the latter become the go-to Holy Power dump. Since Holy Paladins have no way to spend Holy Power for offense, Word of Glory becomes the next best thing thanks to the Glyph of Word of Glory.
  • Glyph of Word of Glory: This glyph causes Word of Glory casts, regardless of target, to also grant the casting Paladin 10% additional damage for 6 seconds. While this buff shouldn't make Word of Glory a rotational ability, since the damage boost won't make up for the lost global cooldown, it does at least mean that casting Word of Glory is slightly less of a damage loss than either Light of Dawn or Eternal Flame, which are the only other Holy Power-consuming abilities available to the Shockadin. Plus, combined with the Sacred Shield talent, Word of Glory will likely be significantly more potent for self-healing than the alternatives, as well.
  • Sanctified Wrath is one of our level 75 talent choices, and allows Holy Shock to be cast without cooldown whenever Avenging Wrath is active—and that's in addition to the 20% increased damage from Avenging Wrath itself. Considering Holy Shock is the hardest hitting ability in the Paladin arsenal, and that Holy Power is significantly less useful for a Shockadin due to the fact that it cannot be used for dealing damage, Sanctified Wrath is really the only choice amongst the level 75 talents that makes any sense.
I'll probably be experimenting more with the Shockadin as I get more time for the beta test, but from basic target dummy tests it doesn't seem like it will fare too badly. It almost certainly won't be up to Retribution's standards, but given it's high potential for healing in a pinch, I think the trade-off may be worth it. At the very least, it seems like it could be an effective Holy leveling/PvP spec, if nothing else.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry it may be irrelevant but what is there in the means of reducing the mana cost of exorcism
    Since the talent is now gone?