Bubble sac up?

December 21, 2009 at 3:45 am (Uncategorized)

Lets talk today children about what to do with the new divine guardian – primarily in my view this is a holy paladin ability (though any ret pally should have it macroed into their bubble – you know should they ever use that).  It is the basis of the 51/17+3 holy, prot spec.

The way it used to be “supposed” to work

Damage taken by the raid was redirected to the paladin – supposedly capped at more than enough to kill you.  It would last 10 secs (in theory) but even in a 5 man the damage taken by a party would reach the cap before 10 secs.  It was suicide to use it without an immunity effect, resulting in the immediate splatter of any holy foolish enough to use it with first (and I mean first – you can’t do it the other way) using bubble. 

The way it used to actually work

If you were smart enough to bubble before you hit DS you were immune to the damage taken – meaning that you never reached the cap.  This meant a 40% raid wide damage reduction for 10 secs.  Quite literally hundreds of thousands of damage negated at times.  This was clearly unintended, probably broken and certainly not likely to stay as it was for the whole expansion…

The way it works now

The damage diversion is limited to your party (and in theory stops at 20% of your health) but you get a 6 sec 20% raid wide damage reduction by activating it.  Now its clear in my view this is a nerf from what the talent used to do (but not from what it used to be designed to do – if that makes sense).

So how do you use it now?

What is not yet clear is the best way to use this talent.  One early ptr iteration had the raid wide damage reduction and the party wide damage redistribution linked, which lead people to theorycraft that paladins would be best served in groups of their own chaining DS as best they could (keeping the 20% reduction up as often as possible).

Fortunately smarter heads prevailed and the two were decoupled.

In my view there are a few ways you could use DS now

Option 1 – put your holy paladins and your tanks in the same group.  This would be most likely to give you the full benefit of the sacrifice part.  On the downside tanks smell bad and you’ll lose the benefits of the healer group (shammies mostly).  In this case I’d still be using bubble with your sac – tanks get hit hard enough you could go from 100% to 20% (or below) right the fuck quick.  At 20% health your a very good chance of getting killed by environmental damage

Option 2 – leave your pallies in your healer group.  A good raid will have 2 holy pallies (disc is a dead spec at the moment – deal with it).  Keeping them in the healer group does give you 2 bubble sac’s for your healers.  Healers don’t generally take a lot of environmental damage (interesting side bar – healers take much less environmental damage than either tanks or dps, discuss) so you can sac without your bubble if you like to live dangerously.  This has the advantage of having the highest uptime of the 20% reduced raid damage buff (you actually won’t notice this at all really but its there).

Option 3 – scatter paladins through the raid like the winds.  Have your pallies in different groups to each other, get them to pop their sacs at different times (the raid reduction doesn’t stack I believe).  If (like H Twins) you have a group of people who will take extra damage (or you put your mouth breathers in one spot so you know who to let die) give them a pally to play with.

My personal view is that the most valuable part of DS is the raid damage reduction.  I’d have your paladins grouped in such a way as to have maximum uptime of that buff (options 2 or 3) unless there is a very specific reason not to do this.  Oh and pallies – save your bubble for times when you sac up and take damage yourself.  That way you can get 3 uses out of it for a 6 min fight rather than just 1.

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