For a while now PLD has been classified as the “simple” tank class and that it is “boring” to play, and I will agree to a point. PLD has a lower point of entry skillwise and it is more simple when played at its most base level of Shield Oath on, Flash and Halone combo. If played this way it is very simple and easily becomes boring. However that is not all their is to PLD.
I see people say that PLD is all about their shield, but IMO this is only partially true, there is one major factor being left out here, PLD wields a sword and a shield.
Now I’m not saying this just for the point of semantics, but because by looking at the combination of the sword and the shield as a set that the PLD brings to bare, it changes the PLD from a Halone Waltzing turtle into a deadly dancer of defense and offense.
The sword+shield/offense+defense balance is manifested through Sword Oath and Shield Oath and balancing their usage to their fullest (i. e. oath dancing).
When in Shield Oath you are prioritizing your shield and defense, while in Sword Oath your focus is on your sword and offense. When you strategically weave between them you create a wonderful ebb and flow to combat where you are pulling back to protect yourself from devastating hits and then utilizing openings (whether in mechanics or through smart CD usage) to press the offensive. Shifting into Sword Oath, popping Fight or Flight+Bloodbath+Sentinel/Rampart and then unloading Spirits+Circle+Fracture is a thing of beauty.
It is this dance between offense and defense/sword oath and shield oath that I find completely changes the style and feel of PLD and makes it much more fun to play and more effective.
So as Paladins, remember we are not just stuck with a shield to hide behind, we have a sword as well and should make full use of it.
I agree that Oath dancing is not always going to be viable in all the content and that sometimes it is just best to turtle up and focus primarily on agro and defense. For example if you are speed running or doing large trash pulls and having to flash spam, best to just stay in ShO.
What I was really trying the get at is that Oath dancing is a major tool in the PLD toolbox that is often overlooked when utilizing it at the right time in the proper content makes PLD way more effective and way more fun to play.
If someone is bored because all they are doing is sitting in shield oath and 1-2-3ing, then they are missing out and under utilizing their abilities as a PLD.
I find that most content, if not all, outside of some of the more “hardcore” stuff it is very viable to Oath dance, particularly in boss fights where there are long casts and other such pauses to go on the offensive with SwO. Also utilizing your more powerful CD’s like Sentinel and Hallowed as damage buffers to then switch over to SwO and go all out for the duration of the CD. More often than not I end up using Hallowed as an offensive skill for bosses where I switch to SwO and immediately pop it and FoF to get that little extra damage because a lot of times I don’t need it as an “oh $#1! button”.
Knowing when and where to Oath dance and getting the timing and cadence down for it is part of the skill and challenge involved with it, which are two things I often see people say PLD just doesn’t have.
Also I agree that I would like to see PLD get more empowered to be able to Oath dance with the expansion, that and better party/raid utility. SE please make Cover better!