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The new Divine Sacrifice

2009/11/03

Even before since I was raiding as a Holy Paladin, I’ve subspecced prot. I never cared too much for crit anyway, and I loved the idea of having a tree Druid aura in 5-mans. However in raid my favourite ability would soon become Divine Sacrifice and its little, but equally important, brother Divine Guardian. In patch 3.3 these abilities are set to change, and I wanted to take a look at them ahead of time.
The patch notes describe the new abilities as follows:

  • Divine Guardian: This talent no longer increases the amount of damage transferred to the paladin from Divine Sacrifice. Instead it causes all raid and party members to take 10/20% reduced damage while Divine Sacrifice is active. In addition, the duration has been changed to 6 seconds, however the effect does not terminate when Divine Sacrifice is removed before its full duration.
  • Divine Sacrifice: Redesigned. The effect of Divine Sacrifice is now party-only and the maximum damage which can be transferred is now limited to 40% of the paladin’s health multiplied by the number of party members. In addition, the bug which allowed Divine Sacrifice to sometimes persist despite reaching its maximum damage has been fixed. Divine Sacrifice will now cancel as soon as its maximum damage value is exceeded in all cases. Finally, damage which reduces the paladin’s health below 20% now cancels the effect early.

Let’s reverse the order on those points and start out with Divine Sacrifice. The two things that stand out are that it is now party-wide instead of raid-wide, and that it automatically cancels. The first thing is obviously a nerf, but the second point means you do not have to use Diving Shield when you use the ability, without fear of dying. Even if you do bubble, the damage redirected should cap at 40% * 5 = 200% of your health. And since you do not stack stam as a healer, this is not too much. Still, it frees up your bubbles, which I will get to again.
Divine Guardian brings back our raid-wide mitigation but nerfs it to 20%. On the other hand, this damage is not redirected to us at all, so again there’s no need to bubble, and it does not affect when our Divine Sacrifice ends. I’m not sure how it works, but if the 20% reduction comes before the redirection, this might help our Sacrifice last a bit longer even.
Finally the duration on the abilities is shortened by a bit to 6 seconds, making timing all the more important. One of the moments I like to use Divine Sacrifice is Ony landing. The new versions would still help out, but you have to be more careful to get it right before she lands.

While this is technically a nerf, there are some points to be excited about. The most important for me is that you do not automatically have to bubble alongside Divine Sacrifice. For me now I sometime bubble for another reason (having to throw a heal while standing in fire for example) and just follow it up with Divine Sacrifice because otherwise it would go to waste. The reverse is also true, once I’ve used Divine Sacrifice, I have to wait out my Divine Shield cooldown. Now there is no need for that anymore. I can just bubble when I need it, and Divine Sacrifice when I need it.
Now instead bubbling you can just throw yourself some heals. As Beacon should be on someone, you’ll still be healing your assignment, while at the same time preventing 20% raid-wide damage (and 40% party damage). Still not too shabby a deal, right? I’m sad to see my huge damage sponge go, but it present me with more opportunities for using both the new Divine Sacrifice and my Divine Shield.

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