WoW Class:Paladin  

RacesHuman, Dwarf, Draenei, Blood Elf
Talent TreesHoly, Protection, Retribution


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Paladins are divine warriors, fueled by their conviction for the Light. Through a mix of combat strength and healing, paladins protect their allies and outlast their opponents.

Class capabilities

Weapon proficiencies:

  • Maces
  • Two-handed Maces
  • Swords
  • Two-handed Swords
  • Axes
  • Two-handed Axes
  • Polearms
  • Shield

Armor proficiencies:

  • Cloth
  • Leather
  • Mail
  • Plate (at level 40)
  • Shield

Paladins are known more for being a defensive class than an offensive powerhouse, and rely heavily on their armor and healing skills. They are a hybrid of these two aspects, and a paladin can choose to focus on healing, tanking, or they can simply try to seek righteous vengeance by being as aggressive as is considered acceptable for a paladin. These correspond to their three talent trees, Holy, Protection, and Retribution.

Paladins are especially known for the use of a few select abilities. Seals are a group of paladin abilities that allow him to channel divine energy in a particular way for a brief period of time. While the seal remains active, the paladin can judge his target in such a way as to provide a similiar effect as a debuff on the target. (For example, Seal of Light returns health to the paladin when he attacks, and Judgement of Light returns health to anyone who attacks the judged target.) Paladins are also capable of a few short-term buffs called Blessings, which are generally very powerful effects. A paladin can only use one blessing on each person in the party, but two paladins can bestow different blessings. Finally, paladins exude certain energies that affect nearby target members, called auras. Like blessings and seals, one aura can be active at a time.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Paladins are a healing/tanking hybrid. They can do well in either role in the niche that suits the class. There are strengths and weaknesses to each role:

  • Healing:
    • Strengths: Paladins, as of June 2008, are one of the best if not the best single target healers in the game. The mana efficiency and ability to give quick, constant healing on a single target makes them stand out as main tank healers in raids. The proactive nature of quick, small heals that heal more than a Heal over Time heal as well as the option of a larger heal is very beneficial.
    • Weaknesses: Paladins struggle a bit in raid healing where it's a reactive type heal or in scenarios where the gear or the situation calls on them to use their longer, less efficient heal. In other words this makes them a poor choice for raid healers and could cause problems in heroics if either the healer or the tank (or both) are undergeared.

  • Tanking:
    • Strengths: Paladins excel at multi-mob tanking, whether in 5-man (non-heroic) instances or in raids. The combination of the reflective damage and the no-limit damage of consecrate makes taking on a mob a breeze. In comparison, a druid's swipe only effects 3 emenies, a warriors thunderclap is limited to 4 enemies. A paladin, with the reflective damage of Holy Shield, Retribution Aura and Consecrate has virtually no limit on threat generation on enemies. The limitation only comes from the healer(s) being able to keep the paladin alive.
    • Weaknesses: A paladin has 2 shortcomings in the tanking arena. As mentioned, they will never equal the single target threat generation that a warrior can achieve. The other is, due to the necessity of +spell damage for threat and the inherent attributes of the class, a paladin will never be able to achieve the health of an equally-geared warrior.
    • Other things to note: Gearing a tanking paladin is a delicate dance. It's well worth checking out the paladin forum on this site for stickies or questions on how to gear one. The major difficulties are balancing threat with health. A dead tank generates no threat, a live tank with no one hitting them may as well be a healer. The available gear and talents change with patches so the most up to date information is probably best found on the forums.

That said, even with those weaknesses, skilled healing or tanking paladins are generally an asset to raids and 5-man groups and in some cases, make certain scenarios almost trivial. And despite the weaknesses, as of June 2008, paladins have main tanked every raid boss.

In other circumstances, paladins have often been compared to cockroaches because they are sometimes equally difficult to kill. An old joke said that paladins have "3 lives" because of Blessing of Protection and Divine Shield giving them time to heal themselves safely, and this doesn't even consider Lay on Hands.

However, paladins are not known for exceptional damage capability. Some would argue that this makes it rather mind-numbing to level a paladin. They also have no standard ranged skills, which forces them to rely on talent abilities or items, or run in and make physical contact to start a fight.

Paladins get a mount at level 30 from their Trainer. They must quest for their epic steed at level 60.

Group roles and expectations

Paladins are usually expected to be healers unless they indicate that their character is built for tanking. They can fill the main healer role much better than they could at WoW's initial release, meaning that some players will often specifically seek out paladins to heal. Whether the paladin is main healer, back-up, or main tank, they will be expected to cast blessings on their party members and provide the most ideal aura. (Usually the aura that provides armor.)

Class Quests

At level 12, paladins will get a quest from their class trainers that teaches them the art of resurrection. The quest will involve finding a fallen victim in a hostile area that they must resurrect using an item. After this, they will learn the skill Redemption.

There is an additional quest line around level 20 for paladins, granting them access to a few pieces of special equipment. The quests are truly quests and not mere tasks, sending the paladin to numerous parts of the globe and into multiple instances.

Paladins have a quest at level 60 for an epic charger. The costs for this quest are close enough to the cost of simply training their riding skill to 150 for an epic ground mount that many paladins do not bother since the release of Burning Crusade.

This page last modified 2010-08-02 13:31:00.