- Arguments over strategy and plan of attack
- BG participants pleading with the rest of the group to not suck
- Buffs and vital consumables (mana biscuits, healthstones) not being distributed
- Some members not communicating with the rest of the group
Now while I'm all for smashing some face and feeling like you did it all alone, the truth of the matter is that 15 individual players can be absolutely rolled by an organized group of 8 in a battleground. No matter what your skill level is, if a group of 3-4 opponents are working together and you have no support, you will lose that 1v4 battle. Teamwork is vital to being successful in Warcraft battlegrounds.
How does this apply to the Ret Paladin? Well first off the Paladin as a class is group-oriented. Blessings and Auras do not diminish in power as you extend them to more people, and Paladin Blessings are among the strongest buffs in the game. Most of the Paladins tools apply to other people, making them stronger/more durable and providing some benefit to the Paladin as well. A great example is Blessing of Sacrifice. When going it solo, this blessing has absolutely no use. You can't cast it on yourself, you can't target an enemy with it - it's worthless. BUT, when you have a partner to cast it on, it reduces damage going to your partner and transfers it to you. At first glance, that sounds silly. Isn't that counter-intuitive? You want to take very little damage, right? HP is life!
Yes, my friend, taking damage when you don't need to is generally bad. Blessing of Sacrifice, though, is a great tool for PvP. Most forms of crowd controls which frustrate people, such as Polymorph, Sap, Blind, Repentance, Seduce, Ice Trap, Scatter Shot, and other such wondrous disorients and incapacitates, break when the victim takes damage. What does Blessing of Sacrifice do? Transfers damage from someone to you. So if you're running around with a partner, and keep Blessing of Sacrifice going on your partner, you guarentee that if some pesky mage tries to sheep you, the very first time that bugger throws a Frostbolt at your buddy, you're up and running again. The flip side is if your buddy gets sheeped, you're a Paladin! Cleanse that shiznit! Blessing of Sacrifice makes you and your war party uncontrollable.
What are some other neat tips and tricks for PvP'ing as a Ret Paladin? Some are general Paladin PvP tips, but here's a few of the gems:
- Protect your healer at all costs. Use your Hammer of Justice, Repentance, and even Seal of Justice to give a healer under heavy focus fire some moments to breathe.
- Buff people! Use Blessing of Might/Kings/Wisdom on passers-by, giving them that extra buff and a stat boost could mean the difference between life and death in some cases.
- Divine Shield is your friend. Don't just use it when you're close to death - sometimes it's even more effective if you use it near the beginning of a battle. Running headlong into a group of Horde can draw their attention, and then popping Divine Shield can negate whatever nasty things they were winding up at you as you charged in. Obviously, this tactic is useful only if you've got back-up that can damage from range as you keep the opponent's attention up-close.
- Cleanse. A lot. Most of the annoying things the opponent can do to you besides kill you in a PvP situation are either magic effects or poisons, and Cleanse can remove both. Remembering to Cleanse yourself and your teammates whenever possible is a drain on your mana pool, but keeping everyone clean aids in keeping them running at full speed and full health.
- Don't forget your Blessing of Protection! Throw it on that nice clothie you're near, he'll appreciate the damage and pushback negation.
- Swap auras. Sanctity Aura is awesome, I know - but when you're fighting a warlock who's throwing shadow damage around or a frost mage who is constantly pelting you with frost spells, the extra resistance is well worth it.
- Rank 1 Consecration is a low cost and low damage spell, but it's an area damage-over-time that can catch lurking rogues and druids unaware. Tossing a random R1 Consecrate out every once in a while can break their stealth and really mess up their timing. Throwing one as you get a Rogue low on health can also pop him/her right out of stealth when they inevitably Vanish to escape.
- Apply constant pressure. Be pro-active and force the opponent to react. Despite the Paladin's defensive nature, Retribution is an offensive role. Pushing out damage and getting up in someone's face with your mace will often lead to them doing 1 of 2 things: a) Pop defensive cooldowns like Evasion/Ice Block to avoid damage, or b) Use abilities to create separation like Frost Nova/Fear/Blink. If you know your opponent's abilities, you can anticipate these and counter them. You've got the tools! Mage blinks? Repent him after the blink. Mage Frost Novas? Cleanse it or Blessing of Freedom yourself! Warlock starts casting fear? Hammer of Justice that bastage to stop the cast and then whale on him mercilessly. You can't counter everything they do, but there are several things you can answer directly. Force them to play at your pace and dictate what happens.
If you employ some of these basic Paladin tactics in your PvP travels and always remember that you're a member of a group rather than just a solo kill artist, you might just change the tune of some of those naysayers and nags that see you in the BG start area and think to themselves "ugh, another retnoob..."