Rotation of Abilities, their significance and their role in threat, and mitigation –
The first question I asked myself when I was approached by the other officers to become a prot pally is what abilities do I use and in what combination. After a bit of research, the answer was simple, efficient, and effective. Any prot pally that does two minutes of research finds that we use what is called a 969 rotation. What this means is that you have certain abilities (3) that have 8-9 second cool downs, and certain abilities (2) that have 6 second cool downs. Taking into account that the global cool down is 1.5 seconds, this equates into a very efficient rotation with absolutely NO downtime in use of abilities.
The rotation consists of five abilities. Protection paladins use each of these abilities on a very specific and measured time table. The abilities are holy shield (8s cd), hammer of the righteous (6s cd), judgement (9s cd with 1 point in improved judgment), Shield of Righteousness (6s cd), consecrate (8s cd). Because each of our abilities cool downs is close to a multiple of the global cool down, you can base your rotation off of it, meaning that if you open up in the order I listed them, all you have to do once you have performed your first 5 abilities is hit the button that is not on cd and you will have your optimal rotation, e.g. 9696969696969.
This ideal rotation works wonders for consistent and effective threat per second. You have a holy damage ability that is used every 1.5 seconds continuously with out fail, as well as DoTs that are ticking continuously on the enemy as well. This plays a very important role in the ability of a protection paladin to gain an increasing amount of threat against the mob that is being attacked.
The only ability that I would like to discuss in terms of “significance” when it comes to the unique nature of a protection paladin is holy shield. The reason this ability is of more significance than the others is because it provides paladins a way to be “unhittable” 100% of the time that they are fighting a mob. This is quite significant because it increases our ability to mitigate all incoming physical damage by an amount equal to our shield block value. This makes block value exceptionally good for trash packs and mobs that hit for less but hit very fast.
Definition: Unhittable – the ability to Block, Dodge, Parry, or Miss any and all incoming attacks.