Protection Paladins' High DPS on Maut Due to Infinite Loop
An article that describes how the interaction between Protection Paladin's Holy Shield and Maut works causing very high DPS. It describes how they are gearing and what the damage log looks like.
Note: A hotfix may have been applied within the last couple hours to fix this interaction.
This article was written by Lincoln. He currently holds the Templar rank in the
Hammer of Wrath Community
where he helps players on a daily basis get better at playing Protection. Feel free to message him questions, comments or concerns about what you read in the guide.
He currently mains a Protection Paladin in
on US-Magtheridon. You can also find him posting random opinions on
or streaming WoW on
Recently, players have discovered that the
encounter in the
raid has an interaction with the Protection Paladin talent
, where it effectively ping pongs damage back and forth an unlimited amount of times. This has led to some very interesting public logs where Protection Paladins are beating standard DPS specs by a factor of three.
In this article, I’ll be explaining and discussing the interaction, including how these players are gearing to take advantage of it.
What do they need to have?
Starting with talents, the first thing that is required for this interaction to take place is
which is a level 15 talent for Protection Paladins. The primary reason this talent is so appealing is that it allows them to activate block events on magic damage. Traditionally, block only works on physical damage and this talent will augment block to do more than that. One overlooked bonus of the talent is that it does minor reflect damage when a block event is triggered. This reflect damage is one of the reasons why this interaction exists at all.
Moving on to gear, they had to increase their
via the Mastery stat which for a Protection Paladin increases their block chance among other things. It has a soft diminishing returns so they need more Mastery for each percent of block as they get more and more.
The easiest way to get Mastery is with Azerite Traits or Corruptions. For example,
is a common Azerite Trait that increases your Mastery during
and if one were to equip three of them, that is a significant amount of Mastery for the duration. Then they usually equip one
which will increase the max duration of their
by five seconds.
On top of that, they want to equip as many
corruptions as possible which will multiply the Mastery they have from all sources including gear, Azerite Traits, enchants, etc. According to one log, a Protection Paladin wore 145 Corruption worth of
which means it was on every possible slot.
Then finally, they equip items from previous expansions like
which has a chance to trigger reflect damage when they take damage. In this case,
is from The Burning Crusade.
How does this work on Maut?
in Phase 2. Phase 2 begins once
hits full mana.
allows Maut to do reflect damage back to the source of the original damage.
has a chance to trigger a “block event” on this damage which would in return do damage to Maut. This damage will trigger the damage reflection mechanic again, in turn giving
a chance to trigger another block event. This sets up a theoretic infinite loop where Maut is always reflecting
has a chance to block the reflect damage. This loop is only possible with
because the reflect damage is considered Arcane which would give
a chance to trigger the block event.
Then, their old items like
have a chance to proc damage when they take damage which would also trigger Maut’s reflection which would increase the amount of
procs that they are getting. This trinket alone is worth an exponential increase using this strategy.
Finally, they want to make sure they are positioned correctly. By standing inside Maut's hitbox and actively jumping, they reduce the travel time of the
missile and increase the frequency of the damage it does, making the loop faster and faster. It might seem ridiculous but it actually does make a difference,
Using the combination of factors described above:
Corruptions, and their character's position, they force the infinite loop of reflect -> block -> reflect -> block to cycle with a high frequency.
What’s the result?
The result is that they have a damage log that looks like what’s below.
’s damage is triggered so often that it dominates the damage breakdown and since it doesn’t have an internal cooldown, there isn’t an upper limit on the number of times it can proc. The only way for the infinite loop to conclude is for the phase to end.
You can see the full log on the
One thing to check out is the Events log and see how frequently
is doing damage during Phase 2! Here’s a small taste.
Should Blizzard fix this?
The real question is always -- now that players have discovered this, should Blizzard do anything to change the interaction between
? The short answer is: Yes.
It could be argued that this is an emergent play style because it takes systems unique to Battle for Azeroth such as Azerite and Corruption and combines them for something unforeseen by the designers. However unlike something like
for Holy Paladins, this is a one off that only works on
. If you were to study how Protection Paladins gear for the other eleven bosses in the raid or even in Mythic Plus, you would find something vastly different. Blizzard should step in and blacklist
from triggering the reflect damage on
. There is also a history of fixing class interactions with
already and this would be no different. Earlier this year, they addressed a similar issue with the Guardian Druid talent
are very similar.
Hopefully you found this explanation informative. It's a fun and interesting quirk on a boss that people consider easy so it can be overlooked. That said, Blizzard should fix it for the reasons stated. Its really an anomaly.
If you’re interested in learning more about this or other Protection Paladin things, feel free to read the
guide or join the
Hammer of Wrath Discord
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