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Is speccing for Arena worth it?

April 30, 2010

The answer comes down to what class you play. Arena talent choices are often much less cookie-cutter than PvE ones, as there is no definite knowledge about what you’re facing (except just the general horror of all of the classes, and no-one can prepare for that). Pure DPS classes often have a whole tree who’s purpose is to be either completely specced into (Frost mages) or at least dipped into (Protection for Holy Paladins) for PvP. Some of these things are a bit unorthodox, if we look at a Holy Paladin PvP spec (again that might not necessarily be right, but it’s what I use) I put 17 talents in the Protection tree, which make sense for PvP. I don’t know if Blizzard intended this, but it works well!

But back to the question. Up until yesterday, I was running with a Dual Spec of PvE Holy and PvE Ret. This has worked alright for me, using full Relentless PvP and all the Wrathful that I’ve obtained, alongside my Holy PvP set, essentially allowing me to have 3 purposes. As nice as this was, myself and my Arena companions are coming up against some REALLY tough teams, and found ourselves starting to slide in rating. I decided to bank my Retribution gear for now, and leave it just a glyph shuffle and 50g away. I’m back in a full PvP spec, which as described above isn’t as drastic as a whole new tree, it is certainly a more powerful thing to have. The bonuses I get from speccing PvP Holy:

  • Reduces the duration of all Fear and Disorient effects by 30%.
  • Increases the effect of your Concentration Aura by an additional 15% and while any Aura is active reduces the duration of any Silence or Interrupt effect used against an affected group member by 30%.  The duration reduction does not stack with any other effects.
  • Reduces the duration of Curse, Disease and Poison effects by 30%.
  • Your Cleanse spell has a 30% chance to increase the target’s resistance to Disease, Magic and Poison by 30% for 10 sec.
  • 30% of all damage taken by party members within 30 yards is redirected to the Paladin (up to a maximum of 40% of the Paladin’s health times the number of party members).  Damage which reduces the Paladin below 20% health will break the effect.  Lasts 10 sec. When Divine Sacrifice is activated, your party and raid members within 30 yards take 20% reduced damage for 6 sec.  In addition, increases the duration of your Sacred Shield by 100% and the amount absorbed by 20%.
  • While Righteous Fury is active, all damage taken is reduced by 6%.
  • Reduces the cooldown of your Hand of Protection by 2 min and increases the duration of your Hand of Freedom by 4 sec.
  • Reduces the duration of all Stun effects by an additional 30% and reduces the chance your helpful spells and damage over time effects will be dispelled by an additional 30%.
  • Increases all healing done by you and all healing effects on you by 5%.
  • Decreases the cooldown of your Hammer of Justice spell by 20 sec.
  • And from Glyphs: Beacon lasts 30 seconds longer, I heal for 5% more with SoL up, and Holy Shock has a one second less cooldown.

And these are the losses I incur from switching to a PvP Holy spec:

  • 2% Intellect.
  • Redundant effects on Lay on Hands (not usable in Arena)
  • Redundant effects on Holy Light’s Haste (usable but generally not worth it unless you’re packing mana and have no risk of being attacked and stunned)
  • The loss of 30 yard judgements and 4% hit (nasty, but I think worth it for the 20 seconds off of HoJ, my only stun. If not, I can always move the talents.

Overall, it looks pretty much worth doing, as a Holy Paladin. If you didn’t bother to read that list, or just don’t take in information well – Most debuffs will be lasting 30% less, I can pop a few damage reduction cooldowns, I will take less damage myself, and my burst healing is more effective because I don’t have to worry about mana management (90% of the time arenas are very fast). I’m no expert on the other classes PvP specs, so I can’t comment on their losses and gains. I know my Rogue friend values the buff to his Kick ability through talents which puts casters on a cooldown as well as silencing them, something that’s stopped them getting that last heal/cyclone/lava burst in when it would have turned the tables. I’ve yet to test my new spec in Arena, but it looks to be fun! If you’re in doubt about how much PvP talents will help you, find an example talent build from a 2000+ rating person with all the Wrathful gear in your battleground, and see what they have differently. Write down as I did what changes they have made, and what bonuses you’ll get out of them. Often they swap things like regen and haste for up front damage, utility abilities and interrupts. Give it a whirl!

-Zal

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