However, aside from making us look positively awesome, Avenging Wrath presents quite a dilemma for the protection paladin. For one thing, like with any other class, we need to decide when to "blow our cooldowns". On the other hand, however, because of ret paladins abusing it, we can no longer use Avenging Wrath within thirty seconds of Divine Protection. Now, if you're a big scaredy cat like I usually am, this means that you might be tempted not to use Avenging Wrath for fear that you'll use it right when you needed your 50% damage reduction most. Much of our role involves staying alive. In fact, unlike other classes, when we die, it's often an automatic wipe. Wings are cool, but are they worth wiping the raid.
However, there are a number of occasions when I find Avenging Wrath quite helpful, and I pull my wings out and impress all my friends. They are:
- On the pull. I find that if I'm going to die, it will be on the pull. However, I pop my trinkets right at the beginning for a little extra avoidance, and, in general, if I die here, it's because the healers have their assignments crossed or their cat is sitting on their keyboard. The extra 50% usually won't help. However, the extra 20% threat can be the difference between a miss wiping the raid and holding aggro. Plus, and this sounds strange, but having the paladin in front of you suddenly grow wings and throw a glowing shield tends to get people's attention. The extra second that I gain by distracting a healer from his Doritos can save a life here, and not necessarily mine.
- When dpsing. Yes, it does happen. No, really. There are a lot of fights, Deconstructor being the biggest example, where I spend some time dpsing the boss. These tend to be fights that are dps races where I'm offtanking something, but not necessarily for the whole fight. In these cases, I'll pop wings when I can. I usually miss the bloodlusts at times like this, so it usually turns out that I just throw it up right away.
- Bloodlust. Bloodlust is tricky. Yes, it is true that Bloodlust mainly gives us extra white damage, but have you ever noticed that all of a sudden your threat cycle gets all wonky? That's not a coincidence. Your global cooldown goes down and that means we get an extra instant attack per cycle. In fact, we get a little less than two, so if you're feeling lucky, squeeze something in there. Now we've got more choices of what to put in there. We can throw in an Exorcism or an Avenging Shield or a Hammer of Wrath or two. The extra damage isn't from the white damage - it's from the extra attack. Be ready to squeeze in the extra attacks in there.
However, I look forward to all the opportunities I can find to remind everyone that I have the power of a celestial warrior. Using Avenging Wrath as a protection paladin is a tricky business, but with the proper timing, it can become one of the staples of the awesome amount of burst threat we can do and the, well, pure awesomeness that is being a paladin.