As a protection Paladin or any Paladin for that matter, a lot of the functionality of our class is funneled through the “Holy Power” resource bar.
The typical play style of the Paladin is to generate a maximum of 3 “Holy Power” as quickly as possible by using abilities such as Crusader Strike, Hammer of Righteousness, or Holy Shock and then dump the Holy Power by using a powerful ability that consumes it such as Word of Glory, Shield of Righteousness, Templar’s Verdict, Inquisition or Light of Dawn.
The class mechanic revolves around the generation and expenditure of this resource. With Holy Power, a Paladin tank has the wonderful utility of producing high amounts of damage and threat or increasing his survival or the survival of others. Each time I am at 3 Holy Power charges, I make a judgment call on whether a 20-30k heal on a friendly target or 30-40k damage on an enemy target is more needed.
In regards to patch 4.06, I immediately noticed that something was different when raiding this week. I wasn’t generating Holy Power like I was before. Any time my Crusader Strike missed or was dodged or parried I got no power.
My immediate reaction was to say “I’ve got to get hit and expertise capped ASAP”. I don’t even have to look at the numbers to know that know that I’ll take my holy power and word of glory heals over small amounts of mitigation any day of the week. What seemed to be a buff patch for paladins with the addition of rebuke all of a sudden became a huge nerf for protection. I would now be losing a lot of mitigation and survival comparatively to keep my constant holy power generation.
However, later in the raid I tried using Hammer of Righteousness instead of Crusader Strike to generate holy power and noticed that it was hitting much more often. In fact, after looking at the logs of a particular encounter I had not missed at all with it. I don’t know whether the ability is using the spell hit cap or that it is a cleave ability that gives it extra chances to hit. I don’t really care.
The fact of the matter is I am taking Crusader Strike off my action bar for now and using Hammer of Righteousness instead. It does almost the same amount of single target damage and more importantly it never misses. I can stay under hit capped and not lose any mitigation stats.
For the Prot paladins considering hit and expertise capping, I recommend using HoR instead and tossing Crusader Strike off of your action bar until something changes.