Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Spell On The Block

Paladins rejoice! After nearly 5 years since the release of World of Warcraft, we finally get a pulling tool. One that isn’t our face. Yes indeed, Hand of Reckoning is here. There is no question that this is going to change the way that we play. Flying mobs will no longer be the bane of our existence, warlocks and mages will no longer beat us to tagging a kill, and we won’t HAVE to dump a bunch of mana with either Holy Shock or Avenger’s Shield. Really, it’s a buff for everyone involved. Some specs more then others though. Let’s take a look.


Yeah, the new Hand spell is super cheap to throw out, but Holy Shock is still very mana efficient considering the amount of damage that it does. And let’s face it, if you are trying to get a mobs attention, you are probably trying to kill it anyway. So front loading a lot of the damage before it gets near you is always a good thing.

The only thing that Holy Shock lacks is range. At 20 yards max, it can get you a little too close to the action sometimes. As such, you should keep Hand of Reckoning on your toolbar.

Verdict: The new spell is useful, but the old standby of Holy Shock will see more use.


This is a HUGE deal for prot paladins. Hand of Reckoning is more then just a pulling tool; it’s a single target taunt AND a single target pull. Of the four classes capable of tanking, Paladins have been the only ones that have lacked both.

Granted there has always been Avenger’s Shield, but using that can risk hitting up to three targets when you just want one. And when you need to grab a mob from your off-tank, usually you don’t want to snag three with Righteous Defense. Granted, paladins are great at multi target tanking, but sometimes one more is just too many.

Verdict: Best thing to happen since sliced bread and plate armor.


Before this change, ret paladins had only Judgement to pull with. At a mere 10 yard range, you might as well have head butted the mob to get their attention. Especially considering that most mobs seem to have an aggro radius a good bit larger then 10 yards.

Ret paladins have been left with either dynamite or boomerangs for pulling. Neither one is a good option. Most ret paladins have adjusted to this limitation and have had to learn to analyze a situation very closely before going in. This is not a bad thing, but when your target is 70 feet in the air, no amount of planning is going to bring it down.

Really, the biggest challenge for veteran ret paladins will be remembering that Hand of Reckoning exists.

Verdict: The toolkit is now complete, putting them on par with every other class and spec in the game… if they remember to use it.

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