In order to be a successful aggro magnet as a Paladin, you're going to need to abandon a few preconceptions that you might have from any experience(s) you gained as either a Warrior or as a Feral Druid, because Paladin tanking really is something of a different animal compared to those two classes. The biggest and most obvious difference being that as a Paladin you don't have an "I AM YOUR OPPONENT!" styled Taunt spell that will demand attention no matter what as a Threat Override. Because of this, as a Paladin, if you're going to hold aggro for a group, you need to do so "honestly" by building Threat the old fashioned way … through damage dealing, healing and multipliers.
The problem with this strategy, from a Paladin's perspective is that Players are … hasty. In many cases, simply hitting something ONCE seems to be the flag drop for everyone else to unload everything they've got, immediately, without waiting for the Paladin to build up any kind of Threat buffer whatsoever. It is at this point that it often becomes necessary to recite THE AGGRO MANTRA for your group, particularly if they seem to be especially determined to wipe at every opportunity, no matter how much or how well you coach them.
If the tank dies, it's the healer's fault.
If the healer dies, it's the tank's fault.
If the DPS dies, IT'S THEIR OWN DAMN FAULT !!!!
Even Warriors and Feral Druids who are tanking as aggro magnets need to get a little bit of a "head start" on building up a stack of Threat before everyone else dives in, but for some reason it seems like Paladins are rarely (if ever) granted this luxury, especially in pick up groups where almost everyone has an itchy trigger finger. However, if you can educate your group to work with your strengths, as a Paladin, then you'll make a pretty decent tank. It just takes a slight adjustment in engagement strategies over what typically happens with Feral Druid or Warrior tanking.
And so, without further belaboring of the point …
WARNING: WALL OF TEXT CRITS YOU!!!
Level 60 Paladin ( 11 / 40 / 0 )
- Holy (11 points)
- Divine Strength - Rank 5/5
Increases your Strength by 10%.
- Spiritual Focus - Rank 5/5
Gives your Flash of Light and Holy Light spells a 70% chance to not lose casting time when you take damage.
- Consecration - Rank 1/1
Consecrates the land beneath Paladin, doing 64 Holy damage over 8 sec to enemies who enter the area.
- Divine Strength - Rank 5/5
- Protection (40 points)
- Redoubt - Rank 5/5
Increases your chance to block attacks with your shield by 30% after being the victim of a critical strike. Lasts 10 sec or 5 blocks.
- Precision - Rank 3/3
Increases your chance to hit with melee weapons by 3%.
- Toughness - Rank 5/5
Increases your armor value from items by 10%.
- Blessing of Kings - Rank 1/1
Places a Blessing on the friendly target, increasing total stats by 10% for 5 min. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
- Improved Righteous Fury - Rank 3/3
Increases the amount of threat generated by your Righteous Fury spell by 50%.
- Shield Specialization - Rank 3/3
Increases the amount of damage absorbed by your shield by 30%.
- Anticipation - Rank 5/5
Increases your Defense skill by 10.
- Improved Hammer of Justice - Rank 3/3
Decreases the cooldown of your Hammer of Justice spell by 15 sec.
- Blessing of Sanctuary - Rank 1/1
Places a Blessing on the friendly target, reducing damage dealt from all sources by up to 10 for 5 min. In addition, when the target blocks a melee attack the attacker will take 14 Holy damage. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
- Reckoning - Rank 5/5
Gives you a 100% chance to gain an extra attack after being the victim of a critical strike.
- One-Handed Weapon Specialization - Rank 5/5
Increases the damage you deal with one-handed melee weapons by 10%.
- Holy Shield - Rank 1/1
Increases chance to block by 30% for 10 sec, and deals 65 Holy damage for each attack blocked while active. Damage caused by Holy Shield causes 20% additional threat. Each block expends a charge. 4 charges.
- Redoubt - Rank 5/5
- Retribution (0 points)
As a Paladin, while you are leveling, one of your most important attribute stats is going to be Strength. Strength will increase your Attack Power, which in turn increases your damage output (and thus Threat generation) in an extremely reliable way. Additionally, increased Strength will improve the Block Value of your Shield, reducing the amount of damage that you take when you successfully Block with your Shield. This can make a real difference in how much incoming damage you take from hits, particularly once you invest in Blessing of Sanctuary and Holy Shield, since those two spells synergize together quite remarkably.
It is this advantageous combination of factors dependent upon Strength which convinces me that 5/5 Divine Strength is a superior choice over 5/5 Divine Intellect for Protection Paladins, especially while leveling. If you're a Paladin wearing Mail or Plate armors, you are far more likely to be able to obtain items that increase Strength than you are items that increase Intellect. Furthermore, when you level up you will almost always receive a +1 Strength bonus, while the +Intellect gain at level up is nearly non-existent. So you can either add +10% to a large number (your Strength) or to a small number (your Intellect) when playing an aggro magnet build like this one.
However, if you're going to be tanking as a Paladin, you need to generate Threat in order to hold aggro. You'll have two (and a half) basic ways of doing this … physical/weapon damage, and Holy damage. The "half" way is by healing, which most tanks don't do, but Paladins can, and there's an interesting bit of trickery involved that I'll need to detail.
Adding Strength to your build will increase your physical/weapon damage, but so too will your Seal of the Crusader. The way the tooltip for the Seal of the Crusader is written is VERY confusing and makes remarkably little sense when you try to parse it. For the moment, ignore what the wording on your Seal of the Crusader tooltip claims/says, and instead open up your character window and pay attention to the weapon damage you see for your melee attack. Hover your mouse cursor over your weapon damage to be able to get a more detailed breakdown on not only how much damage is done per hit, but also how fast you swing your weapon and how much (average) DPS you're delivering. Look at this when you're completely unbuffed so as to figure a baseline minimum of performance for your Paladin. After you've noted the relevant damage output stats, go ahead and buff yourself with Seal of the Crusader, and notice how your weapon speed increases/goes down, but the DPS you're outputting through your weapon goes up. If you're needing to increase your physical/weapon damage to generate more Threat that way, use Seal of the Crusader.
If you need to do "test" swings for figuring damage outputs from your weapon, both with and without Seal of the Crusader active, you can just go out and take potshots against critters (there are plenty of rabbits and deer outside of both Stormwind and Ironforge to do benchmark testing on). This will give you a rough estimate of how much extra damage (non-critical) you're getting, per swing, out of Seal of the Crusader, so that you can get a fair idea of how much "bonus" damage you're doing, both per swing and in DPS terms, while you're buffed with Seal of the Crusader.
However, the other way to increase your Threat generation is to do Holy damage while you're buffed with Righteous Fury to increase Threat generation from Holy attacks. Unfortunately, your options for actually doing Holy damage are remarkably limited:
- Retribution Aura
- Seal of Righteousness (Holy damage on every melee hit)
- Judgement of Righteousness (Holy damage, 10 yard range)
- Seal of Command (chance for Holy damage on every melee hit)
- Judgement of Command (Holy damage, doubled against stunned or incapacitated targets)
- Blessing of Sanctuary (requires successful Block)
- Holy Shield (requires successful Block)
- Consecration (AoE Holy damage, requires 11 talent points spent in Holy tree)
I might have missed another source of Holy damage output, but to my knowledge this is basically it. For our purposes, the main sources of Holy damage that you'll be doing as an aggro magnet/tank will be from Seal/Judgement of Righteousness, Blessing of Sanctuary, Holy Shield and Consecration.
Consecration is excellent for Herd & Burn tactics, but is really only mana efficient against large groups of enemies (preferably 4 or more). Against single targets, Consecration is simply mana cost wasteful for the amount of Holy damage (and therefore, Threat) it can generate. You have better tools for generating Holy damage (and thus, Threat) for less mana cost when dealing with 1-2 targets at a time. Consecration starts to break even on mana cost around 3+ simultaneous targets, but even then it's rather pricey. The important thing you need to know is that Consecration is what makes it possible for Paladins to be the best AoE aggro magnets of any class, since they can use Consecration repeatedly for multi-target Threat magnification (with the Righteous Fury buff), rather than being limited by a long cooldown on AoE aggro control spells.
For Seal of Righteousness, you'd want to be making a comparison to the physical/weapon bonus damage you get from Seal of the Crusader. You can rerun the Critter Test and check your combat log for how much bonus Holy damage you're adding with Seal of Righteousness. With your Righteous Fury (self) buff in the mix, which you should always have up (even when soloing), so long as Seal of Righteousness is adding at least 65% as much damage as Seal of the Crusader, you'll be breaking even on Threat generation, even if you're not breaking even on damage output. Once you've got 3/3 Improved Righteous Fury from the Protection tree, once you're getting at least 50% as much bonus damage from Seal of Righteousness as you would be from Seal of the Crusader, you'll still be breaking even on Threat generation, even if you're not breaking even on damage generation.
Because of this tradeoff between physical damage output and Holy damage output, I often times find myself using Seal of the Crusader while soloing, since Threat isn't a consideration worth bothering with while solo, but then switching over to using Seal of Righteousness in groups for increased Threat generation so as to hold aggro better.
As a Protection Paladin you're also able to generate Holy damage from your Shield as well as from your Melee Weapon. This is accomplished via the combination of Blessing of Sanctuary and Holy Shield talents, both of which will inflict Holy damage onto an attacker when your Paladin successfully blocks. Note that adding a Shield Spike and using Seal of Righteousness can start adding up to some really serious Holy damage production, all of which will get multiplied by (3/3 Improved) Righteous Fury when calculating Threat generation. That's because Holy Shield will deal Holy damage on a block. Blessing of Sanctuary will deal Holy damage on a block. Your Shield Spike will deal physical damage on a block … and will trigger Seal of Righteousness to deal additional Holy damage on a block because the Shield Spike counts as an "attack" for the purposes of getting Seal of Righteousness to proc. That's a pretty good chunk of Holy damage per block, all of which does increased Threat. So really, much more than a Protection Warrior, a Protection Paladin is extremely dependent upon their Shield for both defense AND offense AND threat generation.
For really serious Holy damage output from your Melee Weapon and/or Shield, particularly against groups of foes, you may want to consider using a Masterwork Stormhammer that can proc chain lightning on attacks, including Judgements cast beyond melee range, since those chain lightning procs can in turn proc Seal of Righteousness for additional Holy damage, meaning win-win-win on Threat generation against groups of foes … before throwing Consecration into the mix for dealing with groups.
Likewise, use of a Force Reactive Disk with a Shield Spike and Seal of Righteousness can yield some rather ridiculous chain reactions that proc way more Holy damage (and Threat) than you'd be expecting to generate. Just make sure to bring plenty of copies of the Force Reactive Disk so that you don't blow all of its Durability "too soon" in combat. Note that exercising this option can get expensive on repair bills in somewhat of a hurry.
The extra "half" measure of being able to generate Threat from healing is convoluted enough to feel somewhat bizarre, in the context of a Paladin acting as an aggro magnet. That's because Judgement of Light puts a debuff onto your target, attributable to your Paladin, that has a chance to proc a heal every time that debuffed target gets hit. What's interesting about this is that every Judgement of Light heal that actually heals damage (so over heals don't count) yields 1 Threat for every 2 Health that get healed via Judgement of Light. The Threat for those heal procs don't accrue to the character that attacked though. Instead, the Threat generated by those heal procs of Judgement of Light accrues to the Paladin.
This then means that it is perfectly possible for a Paladin to generate healing Threat, via Judgement of Light being procced by (wounded) allies, in addition to their physical/weapon threat and Holy damage production. However, in order for that healing to "count" towards the Paladin's generation of Threat, only heals up to full health generate Threat, while over healing does not generate any additional Threat.
Now what makes this a particularly interesting option is that the Lawbringer Armor Tier 1 Raid Set offers 2 set bonuses (at 3 and 8 pieces) which enhance your Paladin's ability to heal a party by having the Paladin attack, rather than just cast (healing) spells. The Lawbringer 3 piece set bonus increases the chance to proc Judgement of Light heals by an additional +10% (raising the chance from 20% to 30%, I believe, so a 1.5x multiplier on the proc chance) … and the 8 piece set bonus grants a chance ON EVERY MELEE HIT your Paladin makes to heal your entire party. This then creates a most unusual situation where it becomes perfectly possible to heal both an entire raid as well as the Paladin's own party in a raid without casting any healing spells … which can be rather important on any boss fights where there's a healing spell lockout, preventing healers from using healing spells. But healing ANY ally from a Judgement of Light debuff on a target? Perfectly legal, even while the casting of healing spells is silenced(!). Likewise, healing a party by proc chance from swinging a melee weapon is perfectly legal, even while casting of healing spells is silenced(!).
On the Light's Hope forums (before they got nuked), Taladril had posted an in-depth analysis of Protection Paladin survivability and Threat generation, and found them "lacking" in comparison to Warriors and Feral Druids on both counts. However, one of the factors that simply couldn't be modeled accurately or adequately was how Paladins increased in performance through use of Judgement of Light to heal their party/raid and generate additional Threat through those healing procs, as opposed to through the casting of healing spells. The best guess was that under ideal conditions, a properly geared Protection Paladin would at least come close to, or be somewhat competitive with, Warriors and Feral Druids … although the road(s) to that performance was slightly convoluted and somewhat confusing. It was also a bit counter-intuitive, but at the same time it conclusively showed that the more allies a Paladin can potentially proc Judgement of Light through, the more Threat the Paladin will generate, provided that those heal procs aren't resulting in overheals which produce no Threat. From memory, it seemed as though the break even point for Judgement of Light procs (that didn't over heal) was somewhere around 10 per second, which from a 40 man raid ought to be doable.
The basic "shape" of the Threat production profiles was that raid geared Protection Paladins were running at close to HALF of the Threat generation of Feral Druids and Warriors geared for either self protection or for Threat. However, the obvious missing element in those (solo) raid boss benchmarking tests was the inclusion of the rest of the raid members, which a Paladin is balanced to leverage and synergize with in ways that a solo tank simply cannot, particularly in any sort of solo performance benchmarking test. However, once we were able to make some simple assumptions for the rest of a raid being healed by Judgement of Light procs, along with the effects of the 3-piece and 8-piece Lawbringer Armor set, enough of the deficit in Threat generation was either mitigated or made up for as to make a Protection Paladin something of a competitive aggro magnet on Threat generation. The key insight however was that in order to achieve that near peer parity in performance, a Paladin would have to be also doing a LOT of healing(!) via Judgement of Light procs (and the 3- and 8-piece set bonus from the Lawbringer Armor helped that effort markedly), which would in turn reduce some of the demand for healing services beyond the aggro magnet(s) in the raid due to the supplemental healing that a Paladin could provide simply by attacking, rather than by casting healing spells.
Easiest way to think about this is that if a Judgement of Light procs for 50 healing, that generates 25 Threat for the Paladin who cast that Judgement onto the target … per proc … so long as the recipients of those procs weren't already at full health (because overheals produce no Threat). With enough people who need healing concurrently (see: Lifetap for Warlocks), this can become a major source of Threat generation for a Paladin. It's also very nearly "mana free healing" for everyone else, reducing the "load" on any healers in the group, freeing up mana resources to be put to other uses (such as more damage production). But the real thing to pay attention to is that Paladins can generate Threat from (attack) actions that OTHER characters do, making them literal force multipliers.
Suffice it to say, there is a way for a Paladin to "compete" with Warrior and Feral Druid tanks … although the route to achieving that competition is somewhat convoluted and non-intuitive if all you concentrate on is physical/weapon damage and Holy damage production to the exclusion of all else. If you aren't allowing a Protection Paladin to bring ALL of the things they can do for you into a fight, you're forcing them to fight with one hand tied behind their back.
For example … if you put a Protection Paladin into a party with four Warlocks, who are using Lifetap to convert health into mana so as to always have room for being healed by Judgement of Light procs and Lawbringer Armor's 8-piece set proc, you've essentially created a situation in which those four Warlocks are looking at a potentially "bottomless mana pool" situation simply because they can keep using Lifetap to get mana themselves without draining a healer's mana casting heals to keep those Warlocks healed up. In that case, the Paladin becomes a force multiplier in an endgame raid or dungeon setting for their party of DPS monsters (who all get Blessing of Salvation every 5 minutes).
Or you could swap out one of the Warlocks for a Moonkin Druid, who gets up in melee with the Protection Paladin and helps boost the spell critical hit for everyone in the group, increasing the chances for Improved Shadow Bolt procs for each Warlock. The key point is that this blended hybrid of aggro magnet/healer via procs, rather than cast spells, opens up a variety of different options for raid composition beyond the "bog standard" one(s) that everyone has taken as gospel since Elitist Jerks first espoused them as being The Best™ (and therefore ONLY!) way to do things over a decade ago.
So many people make the mistake of saying the word "viable" when what they really mean (and ought to be) say(ing) is "optimal" instead.
Anyway, back to the talent choices for leveling progression. ^_~
My personal preference is to spend the first 11 talent points in Holy so as to get Consecration by Level 20. Having Consecration by Level 20 will allow you to complete the Tome of Valor Paladin quest in Westfall (past the Desdmines exit) MUCH more easily than trying to protect Daphne Stilwell from the Defias spawns without Consecration. All you need to do is let the ambush spawn groups of Defias get close to Daphne and then use Consecration to redirect their ire/attention onto yourself, so that Daphne isn't taking their damage (since if she dies, you fail the quest). Having Consecration also helps you control aggro better in the Deadmines, if your group isn't intent on running around like chickens with their heads cut off, AVOIDING your Consecration area, after getting overeager and pulling aggro themselves (see: The Aggro Mantra posted above for what they did wrong).
In the Holy tree, I prefer Divine Strength over Divine Intellect for the simple reason that while wearing Mail armor (and particularly Mail crafted using Blacksmithing) I'll actually HAVE a significant boost to my Strength. Pretty much the only way to boost your Intellect attribute as a Paladin during Levels 10-14 is to wear Cloth … which makes you a remarkably bad tank (go figure, eh?). This is one of those "twice nothing is still nothing" kinds of situations that really makes Divine Intellect the clearly inferior choice in the early game. So if you're planning to be an aggro magnet Protection Paladin, do yourself a favor. Get Divine Strength and leave Divine Intellect to the endgame Holy Paladin healers who perform as spell casters rather than as melee combatants.
For Levels 15-19, I prefer Spiritual Focus over Improved Seal of Righteousness. That's because, if I need to heal myself (or anyone else, for that matter) while I'm getting beat on (see: tank role) then I want to reduce the pushback on my healing spells a lot more than I need to be getting an extra +1 Holy damage out of Seal of Righteousness. This is yet another "twice nothing is still nothing" situation. That's because you need to be dealing 20 Holy damage per hit … base … from Seal of Righteousness in order to add a mere +3 Holy damage per hit from 5/5 Improved Seal of Righteousness. Swinging a 1h Weapon, you're really not going to be getting that kind of performance out of Seal of Righteousness until around Level 42/50/58. Because of this factor, Improved Seal of Righteousness simply doesn't DO all that much advantageous for you until you're heading towards the late/end-game. Starting out as a lowbie, Improved Seal of Righteousness winds up being a LOT of talent points for barely any gain for a 1h Weapon plus Shield user. It takes a long time for your Paladin to mature enough for Improved Seal of Righteousness to be worth it as an investment. In the meantime, until that happens, do yourself another favor and invest in Spiritual Focus. Every time you need to heal yourself while taking damage (which will happen A LOT) you'll be glad you did.
At Level 20, invest in Consecration and then try to find a group to help you with protecting Daphne Stilwell at her farm for the Level 20 Paladin quest. I've found it extremely easy to convince a Deadmines group to stick together long enough after leaving the dungeon instance to help me complete this quest, even if not everyone stays around to help. All you have to do is keep Daphne alive to the end and you'll complete the quest.
So starting from Level 21-60, the rest of your talent points will be invested into your Protection tree.
You'll want 5/5 Redoubt because you want to later get 3/3 Shield Specialization. Increasing the protective value of your Shield will aid you in Too Many Ways™ as an aggro magnet when it comes to surviving incoming damage.
3/3 Precision is non-negotiable, and needs to be invested in from Levels 26-28. This cuts down on your Miss chances considerably, increasing not only your DPS throughput onto your targets but also helps prevent Judgements from expiring because you didn't score another hit to renew duration before their duration expired. Precision makes being a Paladin a lot less frustrating!
Guardian's Favor is essentially a PvP defensive talent, which is why I don't invest in it at all, and instead invest fully into Toughness. I would however recommend only investing 2 talent points into Toughness at Levels 29-30 so as to unlock the next tier and then fill the remaining investment out later once reaching the 50+ Levels.
Tiers 3 and 4 in Protection kind of combine, since ultimately I plan to spend 15 talent points between these two tiers (which is A LOT). My personal preference is to pick up Blessing of Kings at Level 31, followed by Shield Specialization at Levels 32-34 and then Improved Righteous Fury from Levels 35-37 … just in time to make a difference in the Scarlet Monastery and Razorfen Downs dungeons. Investing in Improved Hammer of Justice then happens at Levels 38-40, which then allows you to start using your Hammer of Justice for Stuns On Demand as a spell interrupt every 2 pulls, instead of once every 3.
Upon reaching Level 41, Blessing of Sanctuary IS MANDATORY and becomes the default Blessing you will use on yourself pretty much at all times. That's because Blessing of Sanctuary is a Holy damage output multiplier for you, so long as you've got a Shield equipped (and you do have a Shield, don't you?). It's at this point that you can start using Seal of Righteousness full time as a Holy damage multiplier with Blessing of Sanctuary to start really ramping up your Holy damage output, which in turn gets multiplied by Righteous Fury to generate LOTS of Threat. For Levels 42-45 you'll be investing in Reckoning.
Levels 46-50 are all about investing in One-Handed Weapon Specialization to increase your damage output by +10%.
At Level 51, you finally reach Holy Shield, and now your go to combination of offensive power is going to harden into using Blessing of Sanctuary, Seal of Righteousness and Holy Shield while keeping Righteous Fury up. This leaves your Judgement debuff open to either doing more Holy damage (Righteousness), doing MORE Holy damage (Crusader), preventing runners (Justice), healing procs (Light) or mana procs (Wisdom), depending on what you need from moment to moment. When soloing, you'll get more mileage out of Judging Crusader and using Seal of Righteousness, particularly if you've got a Shield Spike on your Shield for extra Holy damage procs, if you're wanting to kill things quickly.
At Level 52, you invest the 5th talent point into Reckoning.
Keep Calm And Reck Bomb.
Your remaining Levels 53-55 should be spent finishing your investment into Toughness for additional armor. That then leaves Levels 56-60 to complete your investment into Anticipation for increased Defense.
Now some people recommend skipping 5/5 Anticipation because while it will increase your chance to Block with your Shield (and Dodge and so on), it will also make it more difficult for you to be critically hit, which in turn will mean fewer procs of Redoubt and Reckoning, both of which will increase your offensive potential. My counter to this argument is that you can "force" an opponent to critically hit you AT ANY TIME simply by doing a /sit which will increase your chance to be critically hit to 100%. So with the option to take a critical hit at the time(s) of my own choosing, it simply makes sense to me to build as much armor and defense into a tanking Paladin build as possible.
Also note that Redoubt and Holy Shield combine for an additional +60% block chance while both buffs are active. Put a Shield Spike on your Shield, buff yourself up with Blessing of Sanctuary and Seal of Righteousness and Holy Shield and just watch the Holy damage pile up on anything trying to get at you through your MASSIVE Shield while you beat the crap out of them with your 1h Weapon.
As for your attributes, when you're starting out early on, try and pile on as much Strength as you can possibly get, because Strength is increasing both your offense (through Attack Power) and your defense (through increasing the damage reduction offered by your Shield when you Block). Towards the end game, however, if you're wearing Plate, you're pretty much going to want every attribute … even Spirit.
Strength continues to offer benefits to your 1h Weapon and to your Shield your entire adventuring career.
Agility increases your armor value (enhanced by Toughness), improves your chance to Dodge, and increases your chances of scoring a melee critical hit, which towards the endgame can actually result in a higher overall melee damage throughput than simply dedicating yourself to increasing your Strength. It becomes the difference between a (for you pleasant, for your target, unfortunate) chaotic spike in damage production versus a reliable steady pressure damage production profile.
Stamina is ALWAYS useful for an aggro magnet, since it offers "margin of error" in the event of unlucky dice rolls against your Paladin.
Intellect is helpful in that it increases the size of your mana pool, and a Protection Paladin will be using a pretty fair chunk of mana on a routine basis.
Spirit is what most people consider their dump stat in their builds, mainly because they would rather /sit in order to eat and drink than spend any part of their attribute budget on Spirit, which often times isn't doing anything for you during combat, particularly if you're casting a lot of spells. That's because health recovery from Spirit stops completely while in combat, and mana recovery from Spirit is halted by the 5 Second Rule of spellcasting, which you can work around through a combination of cast and channeled spells of long duration to cast/channel, but Paladins don't have access to that kind of combination of spells to cast.
Spirit is your "anti-downtime" attribute though, and the more Spirit you have, the less time you need to spend eating and drinking in order to recover your health and mana reserves and resources. This means that with a high enough Spirit attribute, you put less pressure on your inventory for consumables to keep yourself topped up with health and mana. Of course, most Players look at that as an easy tradeoff and would rather spend an inventory slot (or two, or several!) on consumable items than "spend" attribute points on Spirit from their attribute budget.
And that's my take on how to be an aggro magnet as a Protection Paladin. The complicated thing is that in any "benchmarking" solo situation you're going to be putting a Protection Paladin at a disadvantage relative to their Warrior and Feral Druid peers. I say that because Warriors and Feral Druids don't have ways to generate Threat for themselves based on what actions other party/raid group members are doing. Only Paladins are uniquely advantaged by being a part of a group in this way. Of course, you can't exactly run simulations of The Perfect™ Group dynamic to show off a Paladin's true power as an aggro magnet, because by that point there are so many variables in play that it becomes difficult to attribute success to any ONE contributor, even though the whole group is better off for having brought a Paladin along.
So in that respect, Paladins are uniquely weakened by solo situations, but also uniquely advantaged by groups. Since many of those group advantages don't show up on the damage/healing meters in a way that can be usefully attributed to the Paladin responsible for those advantages, those benefits tend to be minimized or overlooked in favor of more easily/simply/reliably quantifiable solo performance metrics, rather than the more loosely defined group dynamic metrics.
Needless to say, the build plan I've outlined above is the one that I'm pursuing with my Paladin. May the Light shine upon all those who choose to follow in my footsteps.
/cast Blessing of Sanctuary
/cast Seal of Righteousness