Disc Priests and Paladin Tanks

I play a disc priest.  I also play a paladin tank.  I still sigh inwardly whenever a paladin asks me to please not bubble them.

I can not bubble you, sure.  I have so much SP that my bubbles are officially Srs Bzns.  I’m a raider, though, and bubbling is part of my routine.  The muscle memory is there.  Even if I don’t want to bubble you I probably will sometimes anyway, becuase god damn it, it’s a habit!  Just ask Bingle, our other disc priest.  Whenever we’re both in a raid we’re bubbling each other’s target(s) all the time, even though we don’t mean to, just because it’s how we’re used to doing things.

What’s the paladin tank to do?  Deal with it.

It is easier to change your behavior than to change someone else’s.

Sure you can ask your healer to not bubble you.  They may or may not happily go along with it.  But why don’t you learn to adjust to the situation?  When I’m on my paladin I’m typically taking off 1 or 2 pieces of gear.  I might pull a little more as well.   I’m usually still over defense cap, but I have some more mana to work with. 

Treat it as an exercise.  Alright, I don’t have much mana.  What do I do? 
How can I create the most threat with the least mana usage? 
Can I take off three pieces of gear?  How about wearing a holiday hat*? 
Can I try a different seal?  How about another Judgement?

Maybe it is easier to just ask the disc priest to not bubble you.   “It gives mana when it pops” is all well and good, except for those of us rocking 4k+ SP.  But trying to modify your own behavior is worth looking at, too.

*I’ve done it.  No one said a word.  :(

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  1. #1 by morkuma on July 28, 2010 - 2:10 pm

    So wait.. you are telling pally tanks to deal with it and change because the priest is unwilling to deal with it and change


  2. #2 by valkyrierisen on July 28, 2010 - 2:14 pm

    I don’t even get a nod? Screw you, bubbles!

  3. #3 by Rades on July 28, 2010 - 2:14 pm

    My brother has a naked equipment set up that he will toggle between pulls, dropping him to about 30% health. I don’t know if he does this with random healers, but when I am healing him I simply top him up and replenish a big chunk of his mana all at once. Unconventional, and scary as hell at first…but it works. :\

  4. #4 by Rhidach on July 28, 2010 - 2:15 pm

    Is this BC? Why are LFG tankadins so dependent on Spiritual Attunement for their mana regen? Just keep Divine Plea up, chug some water if you need to, stop Consecrating for 1-2 mobs, and don’t make the healer’s life harder than it needs to be, imo.

  5. #5 by Ambrosine on July 28, 2010 - 2:15 pm

    @Mork – Taking off gear does not involve working against my muscle memory.

    Also, there’s a certain amount of assuming that you’re running into Generic Douchebag in a Random Heroic. Or that they’re going to keep bubbling you on accident. Or whatever.

    @Rhidach – I do that and STILL have mana problems in some instances (VH? Ugh). But then you need to adjust what you do, isntead of making everyone else flex around you. Or sit and drink, though this makes Mr. GO GO GO angry. :P

    @Valk – By the time I got around to writing this post, I forgot who said what to start me on this topic! <3

  6. #6 by Rhidach on July 28, 2010 - 2:15 pm

    Oh, and if you’re really desperate for mana via heals, sit down in the middle of a pull and eat a crit. :)

  7. #7 by Hempia on July 28, 2010 - 2:17 pm

    When I play Disc I am fully aware of the mana issues Paladin tanks having. One of the Paladin tanks I play with judges wisdom, another just takes off a piece or 2 of gear, and I, as the Disc Priest will usually NOT bubble them because my Divine Aegis will usually proc. I think it takes 2 to tango and 2 to work out the issues as a team to get through the instance. I usually only see this issue in 5mans anyways. Paladin tanks in raids accept the fact that Disc shield them and they don’t suffer the same mana issues they do in 5mans.

    Either way, this is a good point and I’m glad you wrote about it. :)

  8. #8 by Linedan on July 28, 2010 - 2:20 pm

    This is why you need to hang out with more warrior tanks, Bubs. We never complain about bubbles. Well, I don’t, anyway.

    The naked equipment set idea from Rades is a great one, though. That’s inspired thinking!

  9. #9 by krizhek on July 28, 2010 - 2:21 pm

    Wife is a disc priest and when I tank for her it’s on my Paladin. The thought of her not bubbling me didn’t really bother me. Why? Because I have divine plea and judgment of wisdom. I also usually cut down the amount of abilities I used to keep agroo… because really none of those dps are going to catch up.

  10. #10 by Kareth on July 28, 2010 - 2:23 pm

    Speaking as a paladin tank, I personally love having Disc healers. Part of this may be because several of my good friends play Disc priests, so I end up working with them quite often. When one of them is healing me I tend to seal hop, switching between Seal of Wisdom and my normal tanking seals as the situation warrants, much like a hunter switching in and out of Aspect of the Viper. It doesn’t add a huge layer of complexity to anything to do so, especially when compared with how intensive the whole seal and judgment system used to be once upon a time.

    I don’t think it is so much saying that the paladin tank should just “deal with it” and the priest should just do what they want, but more that it is easier for the paladin tank to reactively switch seals when they need to, rather than the priest focus on doing something drastically different than what they are used to. One extra button press every now and again, versus avoiding the bubbles and any spell that may proc one.

  11. #11 by Suzushiiro on July 28, 2010 - 2:34 pm

    I can’t imagine that a ~15k bubble would make the difference between a paladin having enough mana and not having enough mana- I mean, we’re talking a whopping ~750 mana (assuming they’re 1/2 SA) every 15 seconds here that they’re not getting. For a prot pally’s tiny mana pool that’s potentially significant but it’s not going to be the line between having enough mana to maintain threat and being mana-starved and having mobs all over the place facefucking clothies. If you are mana-starved there are significantly better ways to deal with it than telling the priest to not shield you- judge/seal wisdom, chug a mana pot, or just pull more mobs for additional mana return from BoSanc.

  12. #12 by Argon on July 28, 2010 - 2:35 pm

    Seal of Wisdom is awful.

  13. #13 by Khraden on July 28, 2010 - 2:43 pm

    I’m known to do a bit of seal hopping, swaping to SoW if needed, and almost always using JoW, at least for 5 mans. It’s not often that you run into an uber group in LFD, so just to be safe, I follow that mentality.

    In addition, I’ve been known to swap into my Holy set (big chunk of mana regen, less stamina) and activate Divine Plea if it has fallen off between pulls to quickly regen mana, on top of drop my health so that heals will top it and my mana off.

    It’s neat to see all the folks on my twitter feed comment on the same post too, haha.

  14. #14 by Turiel on July 28, 2010 - 2:48 pm

    I’m confused how having mana issues would be fixed by not bubbling a tank. I’m also confused as to how people think taking off gear would be the best answer (and tanking like that… taking it off between pulls makes sense, and is hilarious to boot).

    If you are tanking anything that isn’t event based (I’m looking at you VH, which you did smartly point out), throw up SoC, judge wis, and don’t consecrate. I am still 1/2 SA, and have yet to have mana issues, mainly because if your gear is that good, chill out and conserve mana- your DPS won’t pull off you. And if they do? Well they are probably geared enough that w/e they pulled will most likely die first, OR you can just taunt it back and it’ll most definitely be dead before the taunt wears off.

    Even if you wanted to take gear off, wouldn’t it just be better to wear more threat based items (slap on some STR gear, and get a dps axe). You’d be surprised how much threat you’ll be able to do with just Judge, Hammer, Shield, and HS. Don’t touch your mana eaters (HW, Exo, Cons, and AS). If you STILL have mana issues? Pull more. You not having mana=your healer being bored, and your DPS still salivating for more AoE pulls.

    This to me, seems like common sense.

  15. #15 by Julio Biason on July 28, 2010 - 2:48 pm

    One has to wonder why a Pally tank would ask for no bubbles. Maybe the warrior misconception of “bubble = no rage” jumped into Pally tanks minds who think “hey, if bubble = no rage, then bubble = no mana! Must stop this insanity!” and you get in the mess about mana and rage and raging healers…

  16. #16 by Forreststump (currently in hibernation) on July 28, 2010 - 2:51 pm

    “…having mobs all over the place facefucking clothies…”

    I got some curious stares when I guffawed in my office.

  17. #17 by Forreststump (currently in hibernation) on July 28, 2010 - 2:55 pm

    Of course, our company had another Reply-To-All Bomb™ go off today – they may have thought I was still chuckling about the continued replies flowing in.

  18. #18 by Metaneira on July 28, 2010 - 3:02 pm

    I have mana problems in every heroic I do on my paladin; it’s called overgearing the place. Put on DPS gear, put up seal of wisdom on trash, pull like crazy, whatever. Hell, I even asked a druid to innervate me once (and she did it, lol). It’s about knowing your own class well enough that you can adjust to varying comps, not making other people do something out of the ordinary.

  19. #19 by Khraden on July 28, 2010 - 3:15 pm

    Exactly, if you’re low on mana, that’s your issue. You shouldn’t put the burden on the Disc Priest to change his ways.

    I personally will adapt as needed to keep the aggro up during the fight, and more often then not swap to my dps mace to keep the damage flowing. As some other paladins may also do, talenting into, and using SoC can be a great help in holding aggro without worrying about keeping Consecration or HoR going full bore. Sure it may be a bit slower if the dps in the group are still gearing up, but oh well.

    @Julio Biason
    The reason for this mentality, is the powerful bubbles mean no damage to you, no damage means nothing to heal, no heals mean that extra mana return from Spiritual Attunement doesn’t happen. That’s all.

  20. #20 by Matojo on July 28, 2010 - 3:27 pm

    I’m one of the Disc healers Kareth has had, and I’ve learned to do the same thing on my wee 74ish pally. I’ve ALSO learned that the people complaining about their mana aren’t using all the tools they have at their disposal.

    For the guy saying SoW is terrible – why? I’ve heard it’s not great for threat, but I’ve never had threat issues when using it, nor have I seen Kareth have threat issues, so I’m curious – ‘specially when I see other damn good pallies using it to deal with mana problems.

  21. #21 by LabRat on July 28, 2010 - 3:52 pm

    To be fair, muscle memory doesn’t just apply to healers; I try not to drop consecrate in heroics for this exact reason but I do it pretty often anyway just because that 9-6-9 dance is wired into my fingers at this point.

    I never ask random disc priests not to bubble because I’m far too busy pulling to type. Ideally Divine Plea never drops off. My pet Disc priest doesn’t bubble me, but that’s a favor to a friend rather than something I insist he do and I sure as hell don’t get ticked when he does anyway. It’s nice to have the bit of extra breathing room, because at the pace we’re going these days with the DPS the mob usually dies before I even get JoW up.

    Really the problem is with Blizzard for first making us completely reliant on mana for threat, then giving us mana pools the size of an anemic puddle, then making our regen so poor in good gear. It looks like they acknowledge this is ridiculous and are working to address it in Cata, but if they don’t or don’t do it well… screw it, I’m switching to my warrior. At least when she’s getting beat on by six things she’s never out of the resource she needs for threat.

  22. #22 by Fannon on July 28, 2010 - 4:06 pm

    We all know that the REAL reason that Disc priests love to use bubbles so much in the 5-mans that they grossly overgear is so that they can zone out for 30 seconds and watch TV. Lost isn’t going to watch itself, ya know. :)

  23. #23 by LolDrood on July 28, 2010 - 4:14 pm

    I don’t get pally tanks who complain about mana. If I”m low, throw a JoW and Devine plea: problem solved. Divine lea should be up 100% of the time, anyways. If you *need* to go SoW, any DPS who manages to pull aggro is their own damn fault.

    Granted, I don’t do any raiding on mah Disc, but the only time I even have to worry about bubbles these days in HoR (bleh, pass) and a few pulls in PoS. (See also; Fan, shit hitting of) so I find it easy to just not bubble the tank. Wand wand wand wand wand wand wand renew wand wand wand wand wand wand yay emblem.

  24. #24 by Paolo on July 28, 2010 - 4:30 pm

    I actually love the challenge of playing disc without using a single bubble. I can usually make it through with only one or two bubbles, most of which are habit-casts.

    90% of my Renew usage is on tankadins in LFG. I’d rather putz around with bad spells than expect bad pallies to be good.

    The real problem is that I can’t get as much web surfing done without my bubbles.

  25. #25 by Hana on July 28, 2010 - 4:53 pm

    When I’m tanking on my pally I use JoW and try to keep Divine Plea up. Additionally, I try to avoid using Consecrate unless absolutely necessary. With three or less mobs I rarely bother. It’s such a mana sucker and doesn’t generate enough threat to make it a must have unless there are so many enemies I need it just to make sure I got everyone.

    I’ve never had an issue with a disc priest, but then I try to be pretty frugal with my mana. Running OOM with DP on cooldown always makes me sad. :(

  26. #26 by Kah on July 28, 2010 - 5:01 pm

    Ehehe theres where being an alchemist is gold on my paladin. The endless mana potions will keep me topped up in any situation.

  27. #27 by Joe Ego on July 28, 2010 - 5:09 pm

    1) Dork tanks know nothing about Sanct.
    2) Dork tanks spend more time dps’ing than holding & tanking mobs.
    3) Dork tanks probably hate Brann’s event in HoS because they put all of their abilities on cooldown while they mindlessly 969 the first 3 mobs to appear.
    4) Dork tanks don’t realize any dps pulling aggro is either a co-dork who should be far down their priority list or a good player who knows how to deal with random trash aggro.

    Events like Brann and HoR are excellent training for tanks and even better for teaching Paladins mana management. Dorks can learn (I did), but other than that? To steal a phrase: Dorks are gonna dork.

  28. #28 by Awryt on July 28, 2010 - 5:39 pm

    Personally I hate the idea that paladin tanks get to suck my mana to replace their own. Before they fixed the damage taken = rage problem for warriors we got the same kind of complaints about bubbles from them.

    If you have to be squishy in order to keep up mana/rage to hold aggro, that seems like you’re doing it wrong or there is something seriously wrong with the mechanics. This is one thing I hope they change a lot in Cataclysm.

    I notice that no one offered up the suggestion of mp5 elixir, flask, or food. In 5-mans where you over-gear the instance, you really don’t need any other elixir, flask, or food, so why not?

    Also, if you’re having mana issues and you want to rely on SA to get mana back, then why in the world would you be judging light instead of wisdom? Yet I see paladin tanks do this a lot. If your own judgement of light heals you, that doesn’t get you mana back and it means your healer is healing you less and thus you’re getting less mana from SA as well. *boggle*

  29. #29 by SlikRX/Balthazario on July 28, 2010 - 5:40 pm

    I’m a n00b Pally Tank, and mana is often a significant issue for me. I will run with SoW, drink a lot, and wait for Divine Plea to come off CD.

    Part of this is that I’m learning to tank with decent/good armor, so I get less heals, as well as the fact that I’m a bit timid and perhaps don’t pull as much as I can/should.

    Then again, keeping more than 3 mobs “on me” is tough for me to do. Tabbing and throwing my shield only does so much. *shrug* especially when the rest of the group can easily out aggro me on any single target in a situation like that.

  30. #30 by Nzete on July 28, 2010 - 6:01 pm

    Pally tank, easy heroic… /follow tank switch to the bar that only has holy nova on it. Spam while reading…

    Or… healing heroics with benediction equipped is always a good time. And messes with people’s heads via gearscore.

    Or… tell the tank it is the pantless season and see how naked he can get and still not squish.

    Or… heal in off spec – shadow tends to be more fun than holy unless I can just explain that all healing will be lightwell until all charges are used….

  31. #31 by Joe Ego on July 28, 2010 - 6:03 pm

    @ SklikRX:
    1) Use a real threat seal: Righteousness, Vengeance, or Command.

    2) If your dps are turning it into an AoE-fest then focus on hitting each mob at least one time at the beginning of each pull. Between Hammer, Shield, and Judgement you can quickly strike at least 5 mobs for good threat. Pre-cast Holy Shield and try to avoid Consecration if you’re under half mana. Those initial strikes should generate enough threat to keep aggro against all the D&D, Blizzard, Starfall, etc.

    3) Get good with your taunts.

    4) If your dps focus a target then Consecration should hold the other mobs for a while, so practice pulling faster unless your healer starts to cry.

  32. #32 by Xerian on July 28, 2010 - 8:39 pm

    We all know that the REAL reason that Disc priests love to use bubbles so much in the 5-mans that they grossly overgear is so that they can zone out for 30 seconds and watch TV. Lost isn’t going to watch itself, ya know. :)

    Fannon, stop spoiling all our well kept secrets ;P

    And this
    Or… tell the tank it is the pantless season and see how naked he can get and still not squish.

    One of my favorite disc healers (when I’m on my pally) dared me to go half-naked through Heroic Gundrak in one of our very first instances together. Because he was “bored to hell”.
    I think I kept on my weapon, shield, pants and belt. Everything else went back into my pockets.

    On Galdarah we learned two things.
    First: Paladin Tanks without shields are very very bad at keeping aggro.
    Second: Galdarah packs quite a bunch on non-critimmune tanks :D

  33. #33 by valkyrierisen on July 28, 2010 - 11:53 pm

    Because I doubt any of the commenters here will read my blog post tomorrow, I’ll clarify the specific situation that prompted this discussion. I asked on twitter how my fellow disc priests would respond to a paladin tank that asked them not to Power Word:Shield them. My main ICC raiding toon right now is a Discipline/Shadow Priest, and most of the twitter types know that.

    It wasn’t a deliberate set-up, but I got quite a few opinionated and, shall we say, not polite answers on how to respond to said paladin tank daring to request such a thing. However, this was a question I, on my paladin tank put to my pugged LFD Disc healer in heroic Violet Hold. Groups of 4 spawning. Inability to chain pull, thus Divine Plea would drop. Inability to stop and drink with the removal of all pauses there (even after the first 2 bosses). No expectation of pugged LFD dps types to focus target on anything. Running Seal of Command. Glyphed for mana return with that seal. Judging Wisdom. With dps that outgear me, a healer that outgear me, threat is a serious concern.

    I was doing everything I could think of to get mana back, and asked this of my healer only as a last resort half way through the instance. I have a disc healer myself, and a pocket paladin tank, both of which DO raid ICC consistently and outgear heroics considerably, and I do my very best not to bubble my buddy pally tank. We both understand each other’s mechanics and want to make heroics as easy as possible for each other.

    Nothing said here is anything I didn’t already know about paladin abilities, and I have no interest in half-assing my job as a tank by removing gear that alters my crit-immunity, my hit or my expertise requirements. As far as I’m concerned, I was asking the Disc priest to be a better healer, to put more thought into their spell usage rather than mindlessly whack-a-mole. And the outrage at the mere thought of someone making any type of similar request baffles and amuses and saddens me. But more on that in my blog post tomorrow.

    I am definitely remembering to swap to an empty gear set, and back again between pulls in HVH next time.

  34. #34 by rulez on July 29, 2010 - 2:24 am

    There is no need to shield tanks in heroic 5 mans except for bosses or when they pull really really a lot at once imo. I usualy just shiels spam the dps and myself, renew and pom the tank and then dps with penance, holy fire, smite mind sear (FTW!). If the tanks takes enough damage during trash there is always flash heal.

  35. #35 by rulez on July 29, 2010 - 2:29 am

    In cases when the tank is not overgeared and actually takes significant damage then the Discipline talent Rapture should counter mana problems shouldn’t it?

  36. #36 by Stabbityfun on July 29, 2010 - 4:13 am

    I have run into mana problems on my paly tank before in 5 mans with disc priests, even using the whole toolbox.

    Then I wrote a macro to fix it

    /cancelaura Power Word: Shield

    Just turn it off

  37. #37 by Rades on July 29, 2010 - 4:27 am

    A simple but elegant solution Stabbity. You may want to inform the priest why the shield is vanishing though – I know if I were them I would be panicking and wondering just what I must have accidentally screwed up!

  38. #38 by Stabbityfun on July 29, 2010 - 6:31 am

    I know I should (and to be honest I usually have asked them to not shield before hand) be damn it’s amusing sometimes (at least when I do it to my tame disc priest).

  39. #39 by tytalus on July 29, 2010 - 5:05 pm

    I have a pally tank who shines in heroics regardless of the healer type, and it’s based on a couple spec changes and chain pulling as much as possible — and what bored, OP healer would say no to that?

    Guarded by the Light: refreshes Divine Plea when you hit things
    Seal of Command: lets you cleave, hitting more things
    Reckoning: %chance of proccing extra attacks

    I throw these together with judging wisdom, move with a purpose, and I can keep Divine Plea up and running for a long time no matter how many soap bubbles a healer puts on my pally.

    Definitely not a recommended raid spec, but most pallies probably have Guarded by the Light already and might be able to find the points for Seal of Cleave, if not the Reckoning addition as well. If not, one can always just put up Plea and don’t stop until the priest invokes their safeword.

  40. #40 by Ekinara on July 29, 2010 - 6:37 pm

    Guild MT
    Class: Paladin

    Nickname: “Cpn Pantsless”
    Tanked everything in heroics (well minus HoR) sub defense cap wearing nothing but chest, shield, weapon, helm cloak also possibly bracers i can’t remember too clearly.

    Lets just say the ICC heroics made me thankful as a resto shaman that he doesn’t pull that in too many raids. (with that said he is usually pants-less for the first section of ICC)

  41. #41 by Voink on July 29, 2010 - 11:12 pm

    As a sometimes-tree Druid, I /boggled when a warrior tank clicked off my pre-hots during HoR because they claimed I was pulling aggro with them before the waves came.

    Instead of, you know, trying to keep him alive. This was in late 09/early 10 when HoR was still hard. You’ll be shocked to hear we had to find another tank to finish, since I couldn’t keep him up and he eventually bailed for an insane (yet good) pally tank.

    I don’t notice a difference tanking with a disc priest but I do make an effort to keep consecrate out of my heroic tanking rotation and my gear’s not that good yet.

  42. #42 by loveandwarinazeroth on July 30, 2010 - 12:22 pm

    Makes more sense for him to ask for Hymn of Hope than to ask not to bubble. I regularly run with a Prot Paladin, and if I see him low on mana I pop Hymn, he’s never had to ask me to stop bubbling.

    ~shakes head in disbelief~

  43. #43 by Sprink on July 30, 2010 - 1:24 pm

    Interesting enough, my poor druid hasn’t found a better hat than the holiday hat that dropped off a random mob like, a year ago… so she’s still wearing it. No one has said a word.

    Also, for our healer’s enjoyment and non-boredom, I may or may not have been known on my mage to run into melee range and arcanely explode until I’m oom. Much fun with the usual group, not so much fun with PUGs. ^_^

  44. #44 by Ten'nen on July 30, 2010 - 2:03 pm

    Funniest sight ever: my paladin tank wearing everything but chest piece and, occasionally, pants. With no t-shirt/guild tabard. Best screen shots ever.

  45. #45 by Darius on September 27, 2010 - 2:30 am

    So wait.. you are telling pally tanks to deal with it and change because the priest is unwilling to deal with it and change. How pro is that????

  1. Pop the Bubble « Illumination
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