When the next World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria is released we will all have a brand new talent system to deal with. While the new talent system 2.0 is vastly different it does limit your choice drastically compared to the old system. I looked at that in the article: WoW Talent System System Overham - Mists of Pandaria and Talent System 2.0.
This article however looks at the brand new paladin talent tree to see if each choice gives more bang for the buck to compensate for the lack of choices.
You can look at the new talents for Paladins on the Mists of Pandaria Paladin Talent Calculator over on Blizzard's site.
Mists of Pandaria Paladin Talent Tree: Tier 1
The first tier in the paladin talent tree is all about movement. All three choices provide some movement bonuses in different ways. The Pursuit of Justice talent provides the best overall movement since it will provide 10% all the time and between 20% and 40% the rest of the time. Since as soon as you get to 3 points of holy power you will be dumping it, you will average between 20% and 30%. Even if you count it at the base 20% it will be better than the 116% average that Long Arm of the Law provides or the 106% average that Speed of Light provides. Speed of Light does however provide some additional bonuses.
Mists of Pandaria Paladin Talent Tree: Tier 2
The second tier is all about control. The best talent here really depends on what you want to do. The best all around to me however would be Repentance since it will provide a solid form of CC for you to use. If you are into PVP then Burden of Guilt mat be the best talent since it will slows people down fairly regularily. While the choice here doesnt seem that great, having Repentance is a big thing for anyone other than raiders, and it was only available to retribution paladins before.
Mists of Pandaria Paladin Talent Tree: Tier 3
This tier is really strange as two talents are about defensive ability and the other is about gaining extra holy power. Both defensive abilities are extremely useful and if you are a tank either one would be a good choice, but for me Ardent Defender is the way to go. Preventing 20% of the incoming damage for a short period of time, and stopping the next killing blow against you is huge. It is however a talent that muct be actively used and therefore some players will not care for it and select ont of the alternatives.
If you are a healer or retribution then Blessed Life for additional holy power seems to be the way to go, other than you need to be hit by direct damage, which you are not likely to be, therefore Sacred Shield would be my choice.
Mists of Pandaria Paladin Talent Tree: Tier 4
This tier is mainly about healing and damage prevention. Holy Shield is to me a great new version of an old favourite. Instead of boosting your blocking ability as it used to it grants a damage absorption shield to any friendly target that gets stronger based on the amount of holy power you have. If you are a protection or retribution paladin that should be your go to talent, if you are holy though the other two choice of either Selfless Healer of Eternal Glory are equally useful for you.
Mists of Pandaria Paladin Talent Tree: Tier 5
This tier is about ways to remove movement impairing effects each in its own way. Veneration allows you and your party to ignore movement slowing effects while in your consecration AOE. Acts of Sacrifice allows your cleanse to remove movement impairing effects and shortens you hands cooldowns. Clemency allows you to reset your hands once every 5 minutes granting you the ability to get them when you need them. Veneration seems to be the strongest up front since you can have it up as an AOE to remove movement impairing effects from multiple players all at once. However since you have to be close to them to have any effect, Acts of Sacrifice is the other great choice, especially for healers.
Mists of Pandaria Paladin Talent Tree: Tier 6
The final tier is all about big abilities. Holy Avenger is a big ability in that you can use any that uses holy power 5 times for free. Sanctified Wrath allows you to use different abilities with no cooldown while you are using avenging wrath. Divine Purpose allows you to have a chance a using holy power abilities for free any time you use another holy power ability. Because Divine Purpose happens at a 15% chance any time you use a holy power ability, it can happen more than the other abilities it would be my choice as the go to talent.
Mists of Pandaria Paladin Talent Tree: More or Less Choice?
After looking at all of the various talents at each level are there more or less choices than under the old system. While each player now only has 6 choices to make as they level, it actually seems like there are more choices. While there are numerically fewer choices, the choices are much more significant.
Looking at the tree for each spec there are generally two very valid and useful choices at each level and sometimes three. All of these talents dramatically affect how you play your character which is nice.
For example under the current system as protection there was realistically only 32-4 points that you could adjust if you wanted to be optimized. All the rest of your talent points are locked into place. With the pending Mists of Pandaria talent system at each and every level there are valid options as to how you want to play your character. While I see a preferential way to spend the points for the way I tank, I can see completely different choices that would work equally well.
While I initially sceptical of a system with so few choices, it appears to actually work quite well, at least for my paladin.
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