Protection Paladin Patch 9.1 Changes Analysis — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.1 changes for Protection Paladin affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.
Protection Paladin Patch 9.1 Changes Overview
For this section of the guide I will go over all the important changes you need to know as a Protection Paladin going into Patch 9.1 of Shadowlands. A full list of Paladin changes can be found on our dedicated Patch 9.1 Paladin Changes page. This page is an active work-in-progress and will be updated as new content is added to the PTR. These changes are not live yet.
For a specific list of changes for the entire patch you can check out the Patch 9.1 overview page.
Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.1
Protection Paladin currently has no spec changes for 9.1.
Talent Changes for Patch 9.1
Protection Paladin currently has no talent changes for 9.1.
Legendary Changes for Patch 9.1
- Divine Resonance is the new Kyrian-specific Legendary. Despite a recent nerf from 60% to 20%, it looks to be exceptionally powerful, especially when combined with the new Soulbind trait Effusive Anima Accelerator which can reduce the cooldown of Divine Toll significantly. Effusive Anima Accelerator can also see further cooldown reduction when combined with Ringing Clarity. However, more information on all of these interactions will be tested once they are available on PTR.
- Seasons of Plenty is the new Night Fae-specific Legendary. This allows your Blessing of Summer and Blessing of Winter to act as yet another external buff to party/raid members in an expansion that has seen community issues arise from these ( Power Infusion being a key example).
- Duty-Bound Gavel is the new Necrolord-specific Legendary. This Legendary is a respectable gain in power for Necrolord Paladins, however it addresses a concern of Vanquisher's Hammer — where it is forcing you to use your Word of Glory in a non-ideal way — via a Legendary Power, rather than addressing the concerns with the spell on its own.
- The Venthyr-specific Legendary Radiant Embers has been datamined but is uncategorized spell like the others and cannot be directly tested. This Legendary increases the duration of Ashen Hallow and reduces the cooldown of it based on the remaining duration when you leave the area. This potentially can be abused as you can simply place it so it hits every ally and enemy apart from yourself and have a very powerful cooldown — whose power is tuned around being a 4-minute cooldown — on a now-2-minute cooldown with minimal sacrifice. Expect this to change.
Conduit and Soulbind Changes for Patch 9.1
The ends of each Soulbind have been updated with new traits and a third Potency Conduit slot. The main notes for each Covenant are as follows:
Pelagos — Newfound Resolve spawns a small manifestation add which you then can face in the direction of. When you face it you will gain 12% Strength and Stamina for 15 seconds! Pelagos remains a competitive choice in 9.1.
Forgelite Prime Mikanikos — Effusive Anima Accelerator provides you with more opportunity to use Divine Toll. Purely because of that it looks like it will be a good option as Divine Toll is a very satisfying button to press. As discussed in the Legendary section above, this looks to be exceptionally powerful when paired with Divine Resonance. With the choice of an additional Potency slot you will no longer be forced to pick Forgelite Filter which increases the flexibility of this Soulbind path and makes it very competitive.
Nadjia the Mistblade — Fatal Flaw is the new main addition here which provides you with a 20% bonus to Critical Strike or Versatility (whichever is higher) when the Euphoria effect from Thrill Seeker ends. As this is a flat 20% bonus and not rating it will not be subject to diminishing returns.
Theotar the Mad Duke — There are two new interesting options here. It's Always Tea Time will provide you with a 5% damage reduction whilst standing in Soothing Shade and will also heal you for 1% of max health every second. Party Favors is a bit of a strange trait as it is a daily effect. When you speak to Theotar in Sinfall he will give you an item, which works the same as an Augment Rune in practice, that increases a stat by 3%.
General Draven — Feeding into the tank-oriented aspect of this Soulbind, there are two new traits that make it even more attractive in this regard and make the already potentially overly-defensive Soulbind even more defensive. Regenerative Stone Skin will turn 15% of overhealing received into a heal-over-time effect. Battlefield Presence works to increase your damage dealt and reduce damage taken per enemy around you by 1%, capped at 3%. This fundamentally works like the old Protection Paladin talent of Last Defender.
Niya — Survivor's Rally provides you with a 20% heal over 10 seconds every minute. This will trigger fairly rotationally, making it potentially powerful. Bonded Hearts is the end trait for Niya which provides even more healing to you and nearby allies; if any of those players are from another Covenant then the Mastery and Health benefits from Grove Invigoration's Redirected Anima will be temporarily increased.
Dreamweaver — Historically Dreamweaver has been a strange pick for Protection Paladin in PvE due to Podtender. However the new traits can make this Soulbind an option to consider. Waking Dreams in its current state gives every tank an odd version of Stagger which is... quite strong. The end ability, Dream Delver, is just a simple 3% buff to damage dealt.
Korayn — Wild Hunt Strategem provides you with the opposite effect of the already-existing Soulbind trait Wild Hunt Tactics. With both of these Soulbind traits you will essentially be a Marksmanship Hunter dealing increased damage to targets above 75% and below 35% health.
Plague Deviser Marileth — Kevin's Oozeling spawns an Oozeling when you cast Vanquisher's Hammer. This Oozeling will cause enemies to take increased damage and provides nearby players with an absorb shield. This trait adds to the already-niche nature of Necrolord Protection Paladins which are more burst damage windows.
Emeni — Pustule Eruption will require you to use Fleshcraft rotationally for damage purposes. The benefit of this will be based purely on the tuning of the ability if you are to use it whilst actively tanking as the lost GCDs during this time may not be worthwhile if the end value is low.
Bonesmith Heirmir — Mnemonic Equipment is particularly interesting for Protection Paladins as you can potentially benefit from both aspects of this Soulbind ability. Word of Glory will rotationally trigger the healing aspect, and hitting an enemy within execute range will trigger that aspect.
- 29 Apr. 2021: Added initial content.
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- Burning Crusade Classic Hotfixes: June 14th
- Blizzard Working on Protection Paladin's Threat Issue Bug
- Official Preview of Mythic Rating in Patch 9.1
- Class Tier List for Mythic+ in Shadowlands Season 1 (Week of June 15)
- Reduced Amount of BoE Gear from Sanctum of Domination
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