Lightsworn: Retribution Paladin talents in Legion
To be completely honest, I’ve been shielding myself from a lot of Legion coverage lately. It’s not because I’m pouting that I’m not in the alpha — I mean, I am pouting, but that’s not why I’ve been burying my head in the sand. The release of the next World of Warcraft expansion is so far away that I don’t think I can sustain the hype required to endure the ups and the downs of constant tweaking and adjusting. Perhaps it’s a good thing I’m not in the alpha after all.
Therefore, when writing this column and seeing these talents for the first time, I found myself getting very excited to use all of these new abilities. Unfortunately I did eventually remember that one very important detail and was able to rein myself in a little. Take my roller coaster of emotion as a lesson: none of these talents or abilities are written in stone, so try not to get too attached and invested in how amazing Turalyon’s Might is going to be.
Now let’s dive in and look at these talents tier by tier.
Level 15 The first talent tier at level 15 shows that a heart-wrenching decision needs to be made between Execution Sentence, Turalyon’s Might (our new much-needed gap closer), and Consecration. In most, if not all, PVP situations I’d say that Turalyon’s Might is a no-brainer, but for PVE it seems to be a consideration between AOE and single-target damage.
Level 30 Our next tier of talents focuses on changing the behavior of Crusader Strike. The Fires of Justice passively buffs the output of Crusader Strike by 20%, great for stand-and-burn single-target situations. Crusader Flurry replaces Crusader Strike with a slightly stronger attack that comes with charges, making it a nice option when burst damage is needed. Zeal, another replacement for Crusader Strike, adds a cleave element to the attack as well as a 20% attack speed boost. Each talent here has a clearly defined niche that it fills, making your decision fairly straightforward — perhaps too straightforward, but we’ll see how it plays out.
Level 45 Here we’re looking at a few different forms of crowd control. Fist of Justice, rather than halving the cooldown on Hammer of Justice, instead uses the old mechanic behind Unbreakable Spirit to reduce the cooldown of our stun. I haven’t bothered trying to math any of this out, but between our standard generators and procs from Conviction, halving the cooldown of Hammer of Justice seems like it will be the norm when this talent is taken, with the potential of reducing the cooldown even further. I have a suspicion Legion’s iteration of Fist of Justice will see some change because of this.
Repentance remains virtually untouched, as does Blinding Light, and I very much expect this tier to see the same pattern of use that we see now in this tier’s near-twin, with many more players favoring the cooldown reduction of our stun over the utility of a Paladin Sap or Blind. It’s nice to have the options there, but we’ll forget they exist in short order.
Level 60 Much like our level 30 grouping of talents, the tier at level 60 focuses on changing the behavior of another central ability to our rotation: Blade of Justice. Virtue’s Blade is a copy of The Fires of Justice, a passive 25% damage increase to the ability. Blade of Wrath replaces Blade of Justice, chopping the cooldown and Holy Power generation in half and reducing the potency of the ability from 135% to 85% Holy damage. This talent, like Crusader Flurry, could be great for burst damage, particularly windows in an encounter where enemy damage taken is increased (e.g. Magmaw, Icehowl, Gorefiend, etc). Divine Hammer seems a bit like a mini-Divine Storm, or Blessed Hammer from Diablo 3’s Crusader toolkit. Like Zeal, it’s the AOE option for this level.
Level 75 Yet again we have another talent tier that changes one of our core abilities, this time focusing on Judgment. Judgments of the Bold increases the damage bonus now tied to Judgment by 10%, placing an even larger emphasis on buff maintenance and, as such, might not be the best option in a PVP environment. The Might of Virtue, on the other hand, will likely be what you want to take for your battlegrounds and arenas as it turns Judgment back into its current version, once again allowing it to generate one Holy Power. Mass Judgment, like other third column options, adds an AOE component to the spell while also doubling the duration of the Judgment buff.
Theoretically, I’d expect Judgments of the Bold to excel in a Patchwerk-style environment with a fight length of several minutes, whereas The Might of Virtue would be better suited to short, sporadic bursts of combat. I hope this disparity sticks around and the blues don’t attempt to even them out for balance’s sake.
Level 90 Now this is an interesting grouping of talents! Blaze of Light upgrades your Flash of Light, nearly doubling its healing power. Divine Steed, at least from its description, looks strikingly similar to Steed Charge — again, an ability from the Diablo 3 Crusader. Indoor, in-combat mount speed sounds pretty amazing, especially as I delve deeper into PVP.
Eye for an Eye is a revival of an old talent, counterattacking any enemy that deals damage to you in your parry range. I’m going to withhold any sort of judgment until this gets fleshed out a bit more as the tooltip seems extremely vague. Does each attack hit for the full amount of damage received? Does the damage type matter (physical, magic, etc)? Is there an internal cooldown for the effect? This is something I’d love to test out for myself, but it will have to wait until I can get into the alpha or beta!
Level 100 This final tier is another very interesting collection. Final Verdict, decidedly the least interesting of our options here, boosts Templar’s Verdict’s damage by 15%. Seal of Light adds yet another maintenance buff to track,: it’s a Holy Power consumer that increases attack speed by 35% and movement speed by 15% for the duration of the buff. Holy Wrath, formerly a weak AOE ability that was taken away from Retribution and given to Protection in Mists, is now a Holy Power consumer and channeled ranged spell. It deals Holy damage to its target and heals the caster, with bonus damage being done to stunned targets. That has to be one of the most drastic redesigns I’ve seen so far, but given the previous state of Holy Wrath, I can’t say I’m upset about it.
Like I said previously, I’d fully expect some of these talents to change or even be replaced altogether with Legion’s iteration of Fist of Justice sitting at the top of my watch list. Hopefully we’re past the point in the game’s development where the big ideas are nailed down and it’s just the numbers that need to be adjusted, because these talents are making even the most stubborn Ret Paladin excited.
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