paladin abilities (WoW)  

see also: Paladin, Category:Paladin

While, like all classes, there are abilities grouped in 3 major areas, most of the paladin abilities focus around their utility rather than their tree. Though these abilities are learned from different trees, it makes more sense to group many of them according to their use in actual play. These will fall into the following categories: Auras; Blessings; Seals and Judgements; and Shields.

Below these groupings will be the general abilities grouped by their tree.

Holy: Primarily a set of healing talents though there are some high damage talents against undead and demons. Protection: Primarily tanking and survivability talents. Retribution: Primarily damage talents.

Only the first rank of each spell is listed here.

Contents [hide]


A paladin may have one aura up at a given time. These auras will apply to every member of the paladin's group within 30 yards. An aura costs no mana to change and can be switched at any time. In some instances or cases it's worth changing the aura to one, even mid-battle, to react to a changed scenario.

  • Devotion Aura (Level 1) - Increases the armor of all party members. While this is very useful at lower levels, it doesn't scale very well as armor levels increase and there is almost always a better aura option.
  • Retribution Aura (Level 16) - Reflects Holy damage to enemies when the paladin or anyone in the party is struck. This is useful as a tanking aura for the additional threat generated from the Holy damage.
  • Concentration Aura (Level 22) - Gives a change to avoid spell interruption when casting. This is useful in PvP for healing purposes.
  • Shadow Resistance Aura (Level 28) - Increases resistance to Shadow spells.
  • Sanctity Aura (Level 30) - Increases Holy damage done by the paladin and party members. This is available only through talents in the Retribution tree.
  • Frost Resistance Aura (Level 32) - Increases resistance to frost spells and effects.
  • Fire Resistance Aura (Level 36) - Increases resistance to fire spells and effects.
  • Crusader Aura (Level 62) - Increases mounted speed for all players in the paladins party.


There are 2 classes of blessings: Buffs and situational blessings. Buffs work like other classes buffs and can be used to increase stats on a player. Situational blessings will generally not be placed on a player for a long duration, but only used for a specific purpose. The blessings are broken out into those two classes below.

There are also 2 levels of blessings, regular and greater. Only the regular blessings will be listed below. The greater blessings are the same as the regular of the same name but the blessing mechanism itself has some differences

  • Greater blessings last longer than their regular counterpart.
  • A greater blessing can only be applied to people in your party or raid (you can't "drive by buff" someone with a greater blessing.
  • Greater Blessings require a reagent: Symbol of Kings
  • Greater Blessings are applied on a class by class basis (unlike other classes reagent, high level buffs which are applied to the entire group). This means that if you have 2 rogues in your group and you give one Greater Blessing of Might, they both will have the buff applied. This can be tricky with hybrid specs. For instance, you have a druid tank and a druid healer in your group. If you give the druid healer Greater Blessing of Salvation, then it will also be applied to the tank which will make it significantly harder for the tank to gain aggro. You can, however, overwrite the greater blessing on the tank with a regular blessing of kings. Just note that that blessing will run out earlier than the greater ones.

Sometimes paladins have trouble (if their not using a mod like PallyPower to monitor their blessings) keeping blessings on a group. The easiest way to manage this is to buff yourself first and then buff everyone in the party. When your buff wears off you know that everyone else's will be wearing off soon after and it's time for a re-buff.

Blessing Buffs

  • Blessing of Might (Level 4) - Increases attack power. This applies to both melee and ranged attack power making this a good choice (when there aren't aggro issues) for hunters, rogues, cat DPS, enhancement shaman among others.
  • Blessing of Wisdom (Level 14) - This increases mana generation both in and out of combat. Until you get Blessing of Salvation, this is a good choice for healers and casters and can be useful when soloing if you find yourself running out of mana.
  • Blessing of Kings (Level 20) - This blessing is only available through talents in the Protection tree. It increases all of a player's stats by 10%. This is sometimes nice for tanks in that it will increase stamina, among other things.
  • Blessing of Salvation (Level 26) - This reduces the amount of threat generated by a player. Since this requires someone else to stay below on threat for it to actually be useful it's only really useful in groups. But it is very, very useful in groups. Healers benefit because it's less likely that their healing is going to pull threat. However it's also incredibly useful for casters and any other DPS that has problems staying under the tank's threat. Some casters believe this to be a poor blessing, almost like it's an insult. But basically what this blessing does is allows them to crank out 30% more damage! When you put it that way, it sounds a heck of a lot better than some extra MP5.
  • Blessing of Sanctuary (Level 30) - This blessing reduces all incoming damage. In addition, if the player blocks an attack the shield will reflect holy damage back onto the attacker. This is a talented blessing and is only available in the protection tree. Typically this is only really useful for paladin tanks or paladin AoE grinding.
  • Blessing of Light (Level 40) - This blessing increases the effects of Holy Light on the target. While this is very useful if you have a paladin healer, if you do not, it's completely pointless.

Situational Blessings

  • Blessing of Protection (Level 10) - Protects a player from all physical damage for a short period of time. However the player cannot use physical attacks while protected. Note that magic damage can still be done to the target. While it's not an aggro wipe, it can be used to turn mobs away from a healer, for instance, but someone is going to have to pick them up quickly or when it wears off the mobs will go right for the healer. It can also be a fun thing to use against over-zealous rogues who like to jump the gun on damage.
  • Blessing of Freedom (Level 18) - This is an excellent situational blessing for PvP. It removes and grants immunity to all movement impairing effects for a short duration. It's also useful in some PvE encounters.
  • Blessing of Sacrifice (Level 46) - This blessing transfers a portion of damamge taken from the blessed player to the paladin. It has somewhat limited use but is fantastic for fights that may incapacitate the paladin with something that breaks on damage. The Maiden fight in Karazhan is an example of these.

Seals and Judgements

Seals and judgements rely on each other to work. You get the judgement ability at level 4 and from that point on a combination of seals and judgements is a paladin's bread and butter. Typically, especially in solo play, a paladin will cast a seal that, when judged will debuff the target or buff players who hit the target, judge that immediately on the target to open the fight and then immediately re-seal with a different seal that complements the effect of the judgement.

A seal will last for 30 seconds at which point it will need to be re-sealed (typically you will judge it to get the judgement effect and then re-seal). A judgement will last for 20 seconds on the target, however, successful melee attacks by the judging paladin will refresh the seal.

  • Seal of Righteousness (Level 1)
    • Seal: Each successful melee swing will also cause additional holy damage. This is the most commonly used seal early in the game for all paladins, and throughout the whole game for tanking paladins.
    • Judgement: When the seal is judged it will cause additional holy damage to the target (this is a pure damage judgement. It will not apply a debuff to the target nor will it overwrite any judgement currently on the target)
  • Seal of the Crusader (Level 6)
    • Seal: Increases the attack power of the paladin. Also increases attack speed but deals less damage with each attack. As a seal this is typically only used to train up weapon skills (for the faster swings)
    • Judgement: Applies a debuff to the enemy increasing holy damage taken by the enemy. This is usually judged on the enemy at the start of the fight, then the paladin will re-seal with Righteousness.
  • Seal of Command (Level 20)
    • Seal: Each Melee attack has a chance to deal holy damage equal to 70% of normal weapon damage. The proc rate on this Seal is 7 procs per minute (PPM) and benefits slower weapons more than faster weapons.
    • Judgement: Similar to Judgement of Righteousness, Judgement of Command causes holy damage to the target. This damage is increased dramatically when the target is stunned.
  • Seal of Justice (Level 22)
    • Seal: Each successful melee attack has a chance to stun the enemy. This is a situational seal, it doesn't have any broad usefulness but the judgement can be very helpful.
    • Judgement: Places a debuff on the target preventing them from fleeing (PvE only). This can be very handy for those mobs that tend to run when low on health (Murlocs). This judgement gains a useful PvP application with the Rank 2 level of the spell which can be trained at level 48. In addition to preventing PvE mobs from fleeing, it will also slow movement of player characters, effectively working as a snare.
  • Seal of Light (Level 30)
    • Seal: While the seal is active, successful melee swings have a chance to heal the paladin for a set amount of health.
    • Judgement: When judged it places a debuff on the target causing successful melee attacks against the enemy to have a chance of healing anyone striking the enemy for a set amount. Two things to note: The amount healed by the judgement is roughly 60% of that healed by the seal. The second is that the effect doesn't apply to the enemy hitting the paladin or party, the heals only have a chance of occurring when the enemy is hit.
  • Seal of Wisdom (Level 38)
    • Seal: While the seal is active, successful melee swings have a chance to return a set amount of mana to the paladin.
    • Judgement: When judged it places a debuff on the target causing successful melee attacks against the enemy to have a chance of returning mana to anyone striking the enemy for a set amount. Two things to note: The amount of mana returned by the judgement is roughly 60% of that returned by the seal. The second is that the effect doesn't apply to the enemy hitting the paladin or party, the mana return only has a chance of occurring when the enemy is hit.
  • Seal of Vengeance (Level 64) - This seal is only available to Alliance Paladins.
    • Seal: Successful melee attacks have a chance to apply a DoT to the enemy. This DoT causes Holy damage over time and stacks up to 5 times.
    • Judgement: When judged, this will cause a set amount of damage per application of the debuff applied while the seal was active (in other words, it's not worthwhile to seal and judge right away but can cause some good, if spiky, damage to the target with a full stack)
  • Seal of Blood (Level 64) - This seal is only available to Horde paladins.
    • Seal: All melee attacks deal an additional 35% Holy damage, however 10% of damage caused to the enemy is also taken by the paladin.
    • Judgement: When judged, a set amount of Holy damage will be inflicted on the enemy, however the paladin will also suffer 35% of the damage inflcted.

A note on Seal of Blood. At first blush this does not sound like the best deal. However, in a grouping situation where the paladin is the tank, it can be quite useful as long as the tank isn't getting completely crushed and the healer is adequantely geared. The additional damage caused will help tremendously with threat since it is holy damage. And since someone will be healing the paladin, the addition damage will amount to addition mana due to Spiritual Attunement. This is especially useful if the paladin out gears the instance.


Shields, or bubbles, are a useful but situational part of a paladins skills. Note that Bubble-Hearth is not an appropriate use of these skills. Note that using any shield will apply the Forebearance debuff to the target preventing them from being re-shielded and preventing the paladin from using Avenging Wrath for 60 seconds.

  • Blessing of Protection (Level 10) - Covered in the Situation Blessings section above still amounts to a shield and belongs in both places.
  • Divine Protection (Level 6) - This shield can only be cast on yourself. It protects the paladin from all damage from any source. However, the paladin cannot attack while shielded. This doesn't mean that the shield is without benefit though. It can be used to heal either using spells or bandages, or to simply run away. Note that it protects against damage from all sources so you can shield yourself and run off a cliff where your enemies can't follow without taking falling damage themselves. It can also be used out of combat when, for instance, you missed the elevator at Aldor Rise and are about to plummet to your death.
  • Divine Intervention (Level 30) - This spell can only be cast on another party member (for reasons that will be obvious). This will shield the other player from all damage, remove them from combat and cause enemies to ignore the player while it is active (3 minutes). However in casting this shield, the paladin sacrifices themselves to protect the other player. In other words - you die. This is a wipe-saving shield and when used properly it can work really well. Just be sure, if you're the tank, that it really is a wipe situation. Also make sure that you're targeting a player who can res (not the druid who just blew his combat rez 20 seconds ago). Also make sure that the person that it is cast on is going to be out of aggro range when the mobs reset otherwise it's a bit of a waste. Note that the paladin does not take durability damage for the death.
  • Divine Shield (Level 34) - This is similar to Divine Protection in that it protects the paladin from all damage. However, with Divine shield the paladin can still attack while the shield it active. Note, though, that the time between the attacks will be slowed by 100% unless you pick up talents to avoid that in the Protection Talent Tree.

General Abilities


  • Holy Light (Level 1) - This isn't the most mana-efficient heal but until Flash of Light is learned (with the +healing to support it) or when a big heal is needed, this is the one to use.
  • Purify (Level 8) - This will remove both one disease and one poison effect
  • Lay on Hands (Level 10) - This long cooldown ability heals the target the equivalent of the paladin's health. However, it will consume all of the paladin's mana. However if you're in a situation where you're at low health and almost out of mana, 1 mana point heals you or the target for the same amount as 6000 mana points. Situational but very useful.
  • Redemption (Level 12) - This is the paladin resurrection spell. It's not learned from the trainer but learned through a quest. When you train your level 12 skills, the trainer should set you on the quest chain to learn this spell.
  • Exorcism (Level 20) - For Alliance paladins this is your ranged pull (Blood elves can use Mana Tap to pull mobs that have a mana bar)! Of course it only works on undead and demons. This spell will cause holy damage to the target at a 30 yard range. Note for PvPers: "Undead" players are actually termed Forsaken and are humanoid so this cannot be used against them.
  • Sense Undead (Level 20) - This causes undead mobs to show up on the tracking minimap. Note that only one tracking can be enabled at a given time so if you're tracking undead you cannot track ore or herbs or fish. Note for PvPers: "Undead" players are actually termed Forsaken and are humanoid so this cannot be used against them.
  • Flash Of Light (Level 20) - Later in the game this is the absolute bread and butter of healing. While it only heals for a small amount, it's fast cast time and the inherent low threat caused by paladin healing lets you use it as a proactive instead of reactive heal. There will still be times (and probably for a while until the gear fully supports it) where Holy Light is the go to spell, but nothing can beat the single-target mana-efficiency of Flash of Light.
  • Consecration (Level 20) - This spell is the jam on Righteous Fury's bread and butter of Paladin multi-mob tanking (but mind your crowd controlled mobs - you have legs, back up). This spell causes holy damage to every mob around the paladin.
  • Turn Undead (Level ) - This causes undead enemies to flee in fear. Any damage to the target may break the effect. Note for PvPers: "Undead" players are actually termed Forsaken and are humanoid so this cannot be used against them.
  • Summon Warhorse (Level 40) - There is such a thing as a free ride. OK it's not free, it's something like 9 silver. But when everyone else is paying 10 times that it may as well be free. And looks nice to boot (until you load up on lots of plate armor. Then you start to feel really bad for your horse.)
  • Holy Shock (Level 40) - This is a talented only ability learned in the Holy Tree. It's an instance cast spell that can either cause a burst of holy damage or a burst of healing depending on if you have a friend or an enemy targeted.
  • Cleanse (Level 42) - This will replace purify on your action bars/hot key. It uses the same mana but will remove 1 poison, one disease AND one magic effect from your target.
  • Hammer of Wrath (Level 44) - This is another limited-use ranged ability. It has a 30 yard rane but can only be used on enemies that are at 20% health or below. Still nice to have for runners.
  • Holy Wrath (Level 50) - This is an AoE attack that can be used on undead and demons. It has a short cast time so if you're going to use it to get enemy attention it may take some planning. Beware, however, there is no stated range on the spell and it may just pull mobs that are much farther out that you expected or wanted.
  • Turn Evil (Level 52) - This is similar to Turn Undead but the duration is longer and Sit works on both undead and demons.
  • Summon Charger (Level 60 minimum) - This is not learned from a trainer but is gained by completing a couple of quest lines. For Blood Elves these quests are largely doable. For Alliance, unfortunately they require the running of several old world instances that, frankly, no one wants to run anymore. It's worth it to do if you can get some friends or guildies to help you as both mounts look very, very nice. But if you don't care how your mount looks then it's probably better to just buy your epic.


  • Righteous Defense (Level 14) - This is a taunt, used to grab the attention of enemies attacking a target. It's a long range taunt that will bring up to three enemies from a 30 yard range and cause them to focus on the paladin.
  • Righteous Fury (Level 16) - This is a buff that the paladin can place on themselves to increase threat generated by holy damage. It is the bread and butter of tanking. Talents in the Protection tree can also cause it to reduce incoming damage to the paladin.
  • Hammer of Justice (Level 8) - This ability stuns the enemy for 3 seconds. It's not a very long stun but it can be useful as a spell interrupt. Just note that the cooldown (1 minute) means you won't be able to use it again right away.
  • Spiritual Attunement (Level 18) - When a paladin is healed from an outside source, the paladin will regenerate a percentage of mana based on the amount healed. Two things to note: Overhealing will not count towards mana regeneration, it is literally the amount healed. Self-healing does not apply to this, the healing must be a healing spell from another player.
  • Holy Shield (Level 40) - This is only available through talents in the Protection tree. It is the premier tanking spell for protection paladins. It increases the block chance by 30%, reflects a decent amount of holy damage whenever you block, and lasts for 4 charges or 10 seconds, whichever happens first. This can be improved to do 20% more damage and 4 more charges with talents.
  • Avenger's Shield (Level 50) - This is only available through talents in the Protection tree. It is the ranged pulling mechanism of the tanking paladin. Note that it hits 3 random targets. If you're facing 5 and one is sapped or sheeped you can almost guarantee that it will jump to that target. That said it's a wonderful thing to use as long as you're applying crowd control after the pull. For instance, if a "shielded" mob gets sheeped after it's hit, instead of making a beeline to the mage it's going to go right to the paladin tank if it breaks early. Note that sometimes it's difficult for hunters to trap mobs after they've been shielded. Make sure that they do not have Blessing of Salvation on them though and they should be able to pull it using a high-threat shot like Distracting Shot.


  • Repentance (Level 20) - This is a talented ability found in the Retribution tree. Using this will stun the emeny for 6 seconds, however any damage cause to the enemy (including DoTs) will remove the effect.
  • Crusader Strike (Level 50) - This ability is only available through talents in the Retribution tree. It causes 110% weapon damage but also refreshes all judgements (not just the retribution paladin's) on the target enemy.
  • Avenging Wrath (Level 70) - Avenging Wrath gives you wings! Most importantly used for picture taking after boss fights, AW increases all damage caused by the paladin to the target for 20 seconds. Note that this ability will give the paladin the Forebearance debuf preventing self-shielding for 60 seconds.

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This page last modified 2010-12-21 13:59:47.