The latest patch hit the beta servers today, and there were a bunch of mildly interesting changes. But one thing caught my eye right away:
Blessing of Sanctuary: Gives all members of the raid or group that share the same class with the target the Greater Blessing of Sanctuary, reducing damage taken from all sources by 3% for 30 min. In addition, when the target blocks, parries, or dodges a melee attack the target will gain 10 rage, 20 runic power, or 2% of maximum mana.
This is an amazing change to a blessing that has been sub-par for a long time. Despite being a mandatory grab for Protection Paladins (you need it to get Holy Shield), it’s main use was for AoE grinding. In raids, Blessing of Kings and Wisdom generally come before Sanctuary.
First, let’s take a look at the mitigation change. Previously, BoS reduced all damage taken by 80. Now, it reduces damage taken by 3%.
In the old form, this was helpful for AoE tanking/grinding. As I understood it, the damage reduction took place before all other damage reductions (i.e. armor). So if a mob would hit you for 2k (with 0 armor, think Ghouls in Mount Hyjal), it would instead hit you for 1920. After armor mitigation (~60%), you’d take 800 damage without BoS and 768 with BoS. Not a big difference, but it helps I suppose.
Compare this to a boss that would hit you for 8k with 0 armor. You’d take 3200 without BoS and 3168 with BoS. In the scheme of things, that 32 damage isn’t going to matter.
Now, the damage reduction scales. On small trash mobs, it’ll be slightly less effective. For example, on the MH Ghouls, 3% damage reduction would be about 60 (2k * .03 = 60). The real benefit is on boses. That 8k swing from a boss would be modified by 8000 * 0.03 = 240 damage before armor.
Still not a ton, but closer to being “significant.” You can also think of it as being enough armor to give you an extra 3% mitigation (3-4000). In that respect, it is more effective than Devo Aura by far.
Although the damage reduction isn’t insane, it’s a nice little “bonus.” The fact that it scales with a bosses damage makes it more useful than it used to be. Previously it scaled backwards – being more useful on mobs that hit for less, and less useful on mobs that hit for more.
Rage/Mana/Runic Power Generation
This is by far the better part of the Blessing. It is amazing.
Every time you block, parry, or dodge an attack, you regain 2% of your total mana (or 10 Rage or 20 Runic Power for those non-Pally tanks). The average BC Prot Pally has around 6k mana with some minor buffs, yielding 120 mana with every block/dodge/parry.
Let’s say you’re attacking one mob. He swings every 2.5 seconds. If you blocked or dodged one out of every two attacks, you’d regenerate 120 mp5. That blows Blessing of Wisdom out of the water. Chances are, you’ll block, dodge, or parry close to 85% to 90% of incoming attacks – yielding something closer to 200mp5.
However, that’s only against single mobs. Now think about 3+ mobs. You could be regenerating 500 mp5, or more.
Better for Instancing or AoE Grinding?
This begs the question: will BoS be better for instances or AoE grinding? Answer: It’s awesome for both.
If you’re out AoE grinding, this pretty much guarantees you’ll never run out of mana. Find 5-6 mobs to beat on you. Your block value should be high enough to mitigate most of the damage, so a Judgement of Light should keep you alive. Your BoS will help you regenerate a _ton_ of mana, so you can spam Consecrate, Holy Shield, and Hammer of the Righteous.
On the other hand, it is a boon to instance tanks. Without BoS, you face a bit of a conundrum. You want high avoidance and mitigation so you don’t die. Yet avoiding or mitigating damage greatly reduces your available mana pool. If you take no or little damage, you don’t regain mana through Spiritual Attunement.
This becomes far more apparent in instances that you outlevel. I couldn’t wear my tanking gear and go back to a regular level 70 instance – I’d run out of mana 15 seconds into every pull. Now, I can just pull extra groups, tank 8-9 mobs, and never run out of mana.
With the new BoS, rage/mana starvation should be a thing of the past. Either you take a lot of damage – causing you to generate plenty of rage or mana – or you mitigate a lot of attacks – causing you to generate plenty of rage or mana. Win win situation.
Clearly, this is best for Paladins, who should still be able to mitigate nearly all incoming attacks with Holy Shield. Warriors will love it, but with the changes to Shield Block they won’t mitigate nearly as many attacks. Druids aren’t able to Block or Parry, but they still reap the rewards now that Dodge is in the equation.
What are the chances this will be nerfed severely?
My guess they’ll add a hidden cooldown to prevent it from proccing too often. Depending on the cooldown, it could still be useful. If it could proc once every five seconds – yielding 120mp5 as we illustrated before – it would be nice to have. Anything less than that, and it will probably once again be overtaken by Blessing of Wisdom.
Here’s to hoping they don’t add a cooldown.
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