- This is for BC, not WotLK. Assume this is what you'll be raiding with after 3.0 comes out but before WotLK comes out. This means 61 points, maximum (thanks for that, duckilama)
- With the 3.0 patch will come the reitemization of tier and non-tier gear. This means no spelldamage will appear on paladin gear, and will be replaced with strength.
- Scaling with strength will be like it is in the beta. Which means the AP coefficient on all tanking skills will exist, the 1 strength = 2 block value will be there, and in general strength will be good.
- Assume other raid buffs and whatnot.
Holy (0 points)
Protection (51 points)
5/5 Divine Strength
1/1 Blessing of Kings
3/3 Improved Righteous Fury
3/3 Shield Specialization
3/3 Improved Devotion Aura
1/1 Blessing of Sanctuary
2/2 Sacred Duty
5/5 One-Handed Weapon Specialization
2/2 Improved Holy Shield
1/1 Holy Shield
5/5 Combat Expertise
3/3 Touched by the Light
1/1 Avenger's Shield
1/1 Hammer of the Righteous
Retribution (10 points)
I won't go through all the talents like I have in the past, but I will comment on a few that I think need a bit of love.
Divine Strength, as you might have guessed, becomes a huge ability. 15% more strength is going to be close to 100 strength in T6 gear, which is a big bonus for both threat and mitigation. That much extra block value alone is worth the 5 points, but that it also adds threat is too big of a win to ignore. With the way gear has been itemized, this appears to be about a 1.5% increase in threat per talent point + the mitigation. That's much better than reckoning or one-handed weapon spec.
Divine Guardian appears not to be needed at this point. At least not for prot.
Reckoning is awesome and is actually quite a bit better with the slower, high-DPS weapons that prot now likes - but there just isn't enough room for it. I'm tempted to recommend it over 1hws for fun however.
Ardent Defender has always been one of those cusp abilities. I love it, but with Divine Protection being made into Shield Wall, it's not as required to have. I could see an argument for swapping this with 1hws however.
Guarded by the light is nice, but not required since so much of the threat a paladin will produce comes from HotR, judgment/seals, and the weapon itself. If you find yourself using a lot of consecrates, by all means, put some points here.
Judgments of the Just is another iffy one. I would really like to take this, as having another tanking class be able to thunderclap would be great - and unlike tclap, this doesn't really cost you anything other than talent points. This is an amazing mitigation skill if your raid doesn't have someone who can thunderclap regularly when you are tanking, and I would recommend taking it if that's the case. If you do have someone who can tclap, however, I'd recommend them keeping that up for you. Where to get the points? Take them out of 1hws.
Shield of the Templar will be awesome at level 75, when you get Shield of the Righteous. As it stands, getting a boost to only Avenger's Shield and Holy Shield isn't worth the points.
Hammer of the Righteous is a great threat move that also doubles as a good AoE ability when you can't consecrate. It will change tanking completely for prot paladins. Of course you want your shiny new toy. :)