Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shockadins vs. Heal Specs

Meet Bellbell. She is going to be a shockadin. What does this mean? It means she is going to spec into the holy tree down to Holy Shock, and she's going to spec into the retribution tree down to Sanctity Aura. This means that she will be able to heal, as well as deal a great ammount of burst damage. Why, then, doesn't every Healer paladin spec into ret to get the dps as well as heals?

Really, there's not a whole lot of difference between a full holy specced paladin (pvp or pve)and a shockadin as far as healing goes. Both specs take the most important parts of the holy tree, save for spiritual focus and perhaps Light's Grace. The difference is where each of the specs puts their remaining 20-something points.

A shockadin needs to invest the rest of their points into the ret tree down to Sanctity Aura, which increases all holy damage by 10%. This is what makes a shockadin. On the way, there are many other useful talents for them, such as Vindication, Crusade, Improved Seal of The Crusader, and Improved Judgements. Factor in their holy side of the spectrum, are capable of both burst DPS and healing, In an instance, they are able to heal with only 35 or so talents in holy because really, you don't even need that. As for healing a heroic, it's certainly possible, granted you have the healing gear. In the instance of Karazhan, they would best be suited as a dps/emergency healer. Could they MH Kara? Potentially, but you would be in dire need of a healer to recruit one as a main healer (and s/he had better have great healing gear). Without spiritual focus, things might be a bit difficult in situations that deal unavoidable damage to them, and the lack of Aura Mastery means you would be 10 yards closer to the enemies, which could also pose a problem. As an offhealer, I won't dispose of the possibility of them being able to heal (though it would still be difficult for the same reasons).

As for a Holy Paladin, they have some holy talents that considerably improve their healability/survivability. Spiritual Focus and Aura Mastry, namely, as well as Divine Illumination for the long fights. Past that, what does a raid healer have that a shocky doesn't? The ability to better assist the raid as a whole. A shockadin would essentially have 21 wasted points as a healer. Raid healers spec into Prot, giving Improved Devotion Aura for the tank and Blessing of Kings for...well, everybody. As well, they get a 3 minute cooldown on Blessing of Protection, which saves many a trigger-happy caster many a time.

We have one more spec to look at, that of the PvP healer. Their godsends versus shockadins in a healing situation is Blessed Life, Improved Righteous Fury, and Improved Concentration Aura. These talents greatly improve the pvping paladin's ability to survive, and keep others alive in the process. As well, concentration aura is very nice for anybody with a casting bar. Their weakness is the same as that of a raid healer, though is more dire for a pvper: DPS. They still have a very limited ability to deal damage, which can cost you when you need to burn an opposing figure down fast.

Overall, I would say that the shockadin is ideal for Battlegrounds and 5v5s. In these situations, you will likely not be the prime target, giving you plenty of opportunity to heal when you need to and DPS when you don't. They should not be placed in a setting where they need to focus on healing unless those 20 points in ret don't need to be utilized, such as in an instance. Leave the raid healing to the raid healers and the pvp healing to the pvp healers.

No comments: