Hi Guys and Gals,
Here is what I have found for eternal flame VS sacred shield. For tanks.
Both Spells are effected by haste and vengeance so the more you have the better they both work. So haste stacking is a priority for tanks.
The biggest thing with theses two spells is your gear.
The 4 set bonus for the new tear is amazing for EF. Basically this set allows you to cast EF without paying any holy power to do so if you have at least 3 stacks of bastion of glory.
What does that mean?
Well if you run the 4 set bonus you can cast EF after every third Shield of the righteous, and it casts as though it was cast using 3 holy power to do so. The numbers for a 3 holy power EF with at least 3 BoG are higher than the sacred shield. (there is a great video on you tube that show the stats for this, I cant seem to find the info to link it but its not hard to find. search EF VS SS for prot and it should pop right up.) So if you have the 4 set bonus its a no brinier right? well maybe not, I will get into this more in a bit.
Lets look at what most tanks have.
If you are currently Running with out the 4 set bonus the numbers become a lot closer.
With a large amount of vengeance and a GS over 530 the EF is more effective but by about 23% so if your sacred shield blocks 450,000 damage your EF will heal for about 550,000. theses numbers are just examples your numbers will vary greatly depending on GS and vengeance. the less vengeance you have the closer the numbers become. For example a base sacred shield with no vengeance may protect 16k while a EF with 5 BoG and 3 holy power can heal for 27k.
But theses numbers still show EF being more effective.
Yes on paper they are still more effective but once you take these to the real world it becomes much more unclear.
For example in a high movement fight while watching for mechanics, tank swaps and trying to pull agro on adds adding another spell to your rotation or trying to use it only with at least 3 BoG up (anything less its just not worth the cost of holy power) Becomes tricky at best.
Yes but SS is another spell I need to keep up so I will just switch to EF instead.
That's true but with a simple macro I can take SS off your bars altogether.
/cast Shield of the Righteous
/cast Sacred shield
This macro will try to cast a sacred shield every time you cast SoR. Since SS has no mana cost you can cast it as often as you like with no side effects. SoR isn't on the global CD so they work well together. Don't worry about not being able to cast SoR because SS is on CD as long as SoR is first it will always cast and if SS is on CD the macro will just end and you can go about your normal rotation unhindered.
I do still have SS on my bars but the only time I use it is at the very beginning of a fight. Once my rotation starts I never have to click the spell again.
But I am a really good player and I can work EF into my rotation seamlessly every time because I'm soooooo pro.
Ok so you can work in EF with out any problems, How good is your off tank?
Every one always forgets that you can cast SS on another target. While you are "off tanking" the boss and the other tank switches to "main tank" you can cast SS on him/her.
A simple macro can make things a lot easier
/cast Shield of the Righteous
/cast [target=focus] Sacred Shield
This macro will automatically cast SoR on your target then cast SS on your focus.
If you run with the same tank all the time you can use
/cast Shield of the Righteous
/cast [target=Raxxús] Word of Glory
That is my actually macro. It will cast SS on raxxus (my off tank) every time and I don't have to have an extra name plate on my screen.
This can also be used on no tank targets.
IE: If you cast this on a melee during the iron juggernaut they can possibly help clear out the mines.
Yes but I can cast EF on others too.
That is true, but it does not benefit from the BoG buff if you are not the target and thus it is less effective at healing.
The next thing to consider when trying to decide is how good are your healers.
You might think if your healers are under geared you should go with EF, but that's not necessarily the case.
If a healer see's that a tank just took a big hit there priority will be to get them healed up and this could prevent others from getting a much needed heal. If you take a big hit then use EF and a healer doesn't notice the heal they could end up over healing and wasting mana. With some practice your healers will get to know how you take damage with EF compared to SS but if they think you are going to use an EF but you don't have one available (with 3 BoG) then this could result in a wipe.
SS while a lil less effective (with out the 4 set bonus) can even out you damage intake. Making a large hit less of a priority for the healers and allowing them more time to focus on others before getting to you.
The last thing for theses two spells is if you are going to take big hits back to back.
Assuming you don't have a defensive CD available SS is the better option.
SS will stop you from taking the damage while EF heals the damage you have already taken. So in a situation where you need to take a lot of damage quickly (i.e. too many stacks before a tank swap) SS can be the better choice. if you are about to get hit for your remaining HP then EF wont help once you are dead but SS can keep you alive just long enough to get a LoH off or heals form another player.
Basically it comes down to preference raid makeup and GS. If you have a week GS or are running with others that do SS maybe the way to go. If you have the 4 set bonus then EF is almost always the best choice, unless your "off tank" needs the help of SS.
Keep in mind while trying to decide that you still have Word of Glory available with the bonus from BoG.
In closing I will tell you what I do. After a long break I have returned to wow again. my GS is 525 currently. I use SS with the macros. It works well for helping even out my damage intake. I will almost certainly switch to EF once I have the 4 piece set bonus. Possibly before depending on my haste and mastery. I love the ease of use with SS and the versatility it brings with it. I will Miss it once my gear gets better but I will stick with SS till my raid team gets better gear over all. That would be my suggestion to all of you keep SS till you feel you gear and your other raiders GS is good enough to make EF your choice. Keep testing both out for your self to see when its time to make the switch. Keep in mind some fights might be better for one over the other no matter what you GS or tear set bonus.
Good luck and I hope I made things a lil easier for everyone to make a decision.