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Old Vanilla Paladin Guide (Thru Naxx)

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SOURCE:

http://wow.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=243&mid=1129930633128486514

 

Paladin FAQ 

Acknowledgements 

Much thanks is due to: 

Pasty and boulderfist for helping me to organize all this information. 

Randolphe for correcting me about the etymology of "proc". 

LikeIke for many helpful additions to the list of undead mob locations. 

(Help me out and your name gets added to the list.) 


Contents 

1 About Paladins 
1.1 So what are paladins good for? 
1.2 Are paladins fun to play? 
1.3 Should I roll a warrior or a paladin? 
1.4 Okay, I'm going to make a Paladin. What race should I make? 
1.5 What are good professions for a Paladin? 
1.6 What about secondary skills? Are those worth bothering with? 
1.7 What do paladins end up doing in the endgame raid instances? 

2 Game mechanics 
2.1 Someone told me that Paladin seals work on a "procs per minute" system. What does that mean? 
2.2 Can Paladins tank? How? 
2.3 Jeez, Righteous Defense is really clumsy to use, since you have to target a friend with it. Is there a way to make it easier? 
2.4 Can a Paladin be a main healer for a party? 
2.5 Why don't anti-undead spells like Exorcism work against Undead PC's? 

3 Strategy 
3.1 So what should I be doing in an instance group? 
3.2 What about duels and 1v1 PvP? 
3.3 Okay, and what about group PvP? 

4 Weapons and Gear 
4.1 Should I learn all the weapon types? Do I need to keep all my weapon skills trained up to the maximum for my level? Where do I learn to use <insert weapon type here>? 
4.2 Is there any difference between axes, swords, and maces? 
4.3 Should I use a one-hand weapon and shield, or a two-hander? 
4.4 What kind of weapon is best for a Paladin? 
4.5 Okay, what's the best two-hand weapon for a level 60 Paladin that isn't ridiculously hard to get? 
4.6 What are important stats for a paladin, and how do they affect me? 
4.7 How does +spelldamage and +healing gear work for a Paladin? (or "Why don't I ever get the full bonus from JotC?") 
4.8 So what kind of gear should I be looking for? 
4.9 What's Lightforge? Is it any good? Where do I get it? 
4.10 What are the other Paladin sets? Where do I get them? Are they any good? 
4.11 Where can I get some good crit gear? 

5 Questing and Leveling 
5.1 Where should I quest/grind at level ____? 
5.2 Yeah yeah, I know about that, but where are the undead? 
5.3 How do I get the quest for Redemption (Resurrection)? 
5.4 Is Verigan's Fist worth getting? How do I start the quest? 
5.5 Woohoo! Level 40! Now what's this I'm hearing about a free mount? 
5.6 Okay, I'm at level 50 now. Anything special here? 
5.7 Okay, I just hit level 60. So what do I do to get one of these spiky gold epic mounts? 

6 Talents 
6.1 Help! I just reached level 10 and I have no idea what to do with my talent points! 
6.2 So what's the best tree/what are the best talents? 
6.3 So what's a good talent build? 


1 About Paladins 


1.1 So what are paladins good for? 

A Paladin is a hybrid tank/healer, capable of taking a beating and surviving, and helping allies survive as well. Paladins can deal respectable damage, but the focus of the class is protecting others and keeping them alive. The defining abilities of a Paladin are all defensive. Paladins can solo fairly well, but they're at their strongest in groups, where their lifesaving abilities shine. Priests heal damage, but Paladins save lives. 

A Paladin is not always the main tank or the main healer, although a Paladin can serve quite well in both these roles with the right gear. But the Paladin is always the final guardian of the party's safety. 


1.2 Are paladins fun to play? 

It depends on what's fun for you. If you're focused on just one role in the game -- dps, healing, or tanking -- and you want to do that and nothing else, you're better off with another class. If you don't enjoy teamwork and helping others, then a paladin probably isn't for you. 

But if you want to do a bit of everything, take care of your friends, and experience the thrill of saving your entire party from a wipe with a well-timed stun or blessing, you'll probably like playing a paladin. 


1.3 Should I roll a warrior or a paladin? 

Short answer: If you're asking the question, the answer is probably warrior. 

Long answer: A common misconception is that a Paladin plays similarly to a Warrior, just with healing and weaker damage to balance it out. This is not the case; Paladins and Warriors involve very different playstyles. Warriors have a lot of interactive combat abilities they can use to deal damage, or put debuffs on a target, etc. A Warrior has control over these things; most of them happen instantly with the press of a key. 

Paladins are very different; melee combat for a Paladin is usualy just a seal followed by autoattack, maybe with a judgement every 10 seconds or so. This is intentional; if you're a Paladin in a fight, you're not supposed to spend all your time pressing buttons to hurt something; you're supposed to spend your time watching your teammates to see if they need help. The button-pushing for a Paladin is mostly defensive: Healing, cleansing, blessing, stunning, shielding, etc. 

Neither class is better than the other, but be aware that they are very different. 


1.4 Okay, I'm going to make a Paladin. What race should I make? 

Whichever one you like best. Dwarves have slightly better starting stats and stoneform. Humans have perception, a tiny mace/swords bonus and slightly faster reputation gains. Draenei get a heal over time and a jewelcrafting bonus. Blood Elves get to steal a bit of mana and silence their enemies. 

In the end, you're best off chosing whichever race you enjoy seeing on the screen. 


1.5 What are good professions for a Paladin? 

There are a lot of options; which one is best depends on what you want. 

If you're looking for something that will make you stronger in combat, especially PvP, Engineering is probably the best choice, since it gives you a nice assortment of bombs and other nifty gizmos you can use in fights. Most of the craftable items in Engineering can only be used by other engineers, so there's not a large sales market. 

Blacksmithing lets you make your own weapons and armor. This can be quite a help at the lower levels, since the craftable items are often better than the drops you get at those levels, although as you level up the drops become better and better. At very high levels, Blacksmiths can create powerful weapons and armor that only they can use, which makes it particularly suitable for a plate-wearing melee class. 

Leatherworking and Tailoring are essentially like Blacksmithing, except that you'll be making leather and cloth gear that you generally won't be using yourself, except for bags. 

Enchanting is difficult to make money with until you get to the very high levels, but it has advantages in that it doesn't require you to get a separate gathering skill, and you can use it to disenchant the otherwise useless Bind-on-Pickup items that drop off of instance bosses. 

Jewelcrafting lets you craft various rings, necklaces and trinkets, and at higher levels it lets you create the gems that are used to customize armor and weapons. 

Alchemy is very nice, both for personal use and for making money, since everyone can use potions. 

In the Burning Crusade expansion, all of the crafting professions include Bind-on-Pickup items that can only be used by the crafter. It's worthwhile to look through the crafting lists to see what items will be available to you for each profession. 

If all you want out of professions is money, your best bet is to pick up two gathering skills, probably Skinning and Mining, and sell the materials you gather at the Auction House. 


1.6 What about secondary skills? Are those worth bothering with? 

First Aid might seem unnecessary for a healing class, but it can come in quite handy for situations where you don't want to spend mana to heal. If you're grinding monsters solo, you might prefer to spend your mana on Consecration, Holy Shield, Exorcism, etc, so you can kill faster and then use bandages to patch yourself up. There are situations in PvP and some of the PvE raid boss fights where it can be useful to be able to heal yourself without spending mana. Finally, when you have excessive amounts of cloth sitting around, you can make bandages and sell them to a vendor for a decent price. 

Cooking and Fishing are matters of personal preference. You can make useful foods with them for stat boosts, but you can also get friends to make these things for you, so whether you want to level them up yourself is your call. 


1.7 What do paladins end up doing in the endgame raid instances? 

This will depend somewhat on your spec, and on what the raid needs. Paladins are capable of filling any of the three basic raid roles -- healing, tanking, and dps -- and you should be willing to do your best if called on for any of those. Obviously this will depend somewhat on your spec -- a Protection Paladin will be called on to tank more often than a Retribution or Holy Paladin will -- but you will at times be expected to do all three. This is especially true for healing. 


2 Game mechanics 


2.1 Someone told me that Paladin seals work on a "procs per minute" system. What does that mean? 

"Proc" is an acronym for "Programmed Random OCcurrence", and it refers to any effect that has a chance to happen. For example, Seal of Light has a chance to heal you on any weapon hit; if you swing your weapon and the Seal actually does heal you, you say that Seal of Light procced. 

The chance for a paladin seal to proc on a weapon swing depends on the speed of the weapon. Slower weapons will have a higher chance to proc the seal on each swing than faster weapons. However, faster weapons will give more swings in the same amount of time, so the overall effect is that you can expect the same number of procs over a one-minute period from any weapon. 

As an example, Seal of Command has a chance to proc of about 12% times weapon speed. If you're using a one-hand weapon with a speed of 2.0, each swing has about a 24% chance to proc Command. If you're using a two-hand weapon with a speed of 3.5, each swing has about a 40% chance to proc the seal. Either way, you can expect to see about 7 Command procs per minute on average. (Since the damage done by a Seal of Command proc is based on weapon damage, it pays to use a slow weapon with Seal of Command.) 

This does not apply to Judgement of Light or Judgement of Wisdom. Unlike the seals, these judgements have a flat chance to proc on each hit, regardless of weapon speed. 

According to some tests I've done, the proc rates for Paladin seals and judgements are: 

Seal of Justice: 8 procs per minute 
Seal of Command: 7 procs per minute 
Seal of Light: 16 procs per minute 
Seal of Wisdom: 16 procs per minute 
Seal of Vengeance: 20 procs per minute 

Judgement of Light: 40% chance per hit 
Judgement of Wisdom: 40% chance per hit 

Note that each swing has an identical chance to proc a seal, regardless of how many times the seal has procced already. These numbers are not guaranteed; they're just the number of procs you can expect on average. 

2.2 Can Paladins tank? How? 

Paladins can tank quite well if they have proper gear. Having some talent points in Protection can help on more difficult things. 

The basic principle is to have the Righteous Fury spell active, and apply Holy damage to the target(s) you want to tank. This builds "threat" on the target, which is what keeps the target attacking you even when dps classes are doing much more damage to it. You can do this to one target with Seal of Righteousness and Judgement of Righteousness. Consecration will build threat on all the targets it hits; this can be handy if you have friends who like to use AoE spells like Blizzard or Rain of Fire. Various other abilities and talents cause Holy damage and can be used to build threat for tanking. 

The Spiritual Attunement ability gives you mana each time you're healed by someone besides yourself. Since tanking involves taking damage and (hopefully) getting healed, this can allow you to tank for quite a long time even while spending mana on threat-building abilities, although it doesn't always give enough mana to allow you to go all-out on threat indefinitely. Remember that after the first 10-15 seconds of a fight, you don't need to always go full-throttle on threat, you only need enough threat to keep the monsters attacking you. Don't be afraid to experiment with scaling back your threat later in a fight to conserve mana, especially early in an instance where the pulls aren't too dangerous. 

If you lose aggro on one of the mobs you're tanking and goes to attack one of your softer party members, don't panic. You have several options to get it back: 

- The first thing you should do is cast Righteous Defense on whoever's getting beaten up. Unless it's resisted, this will cause all the enemies attacking that person to come back to you. Follow this up with a threat-generating ability like Consecration. 

- If Righteous Defense is on cooldown, or gets resisted, you can try casting Blessing of Protection on the squishie in question. This will make the squishie immune to melee attacks, so the melee monsters will come back to attack you. 

- Another option is to stun the monster. This will buy time for you to whack on it and get aggro back, or for your party to kill it quickly. 

- If you have Holy Shock (and it's not on cooldown). This will generate a decent amount of hate instantly. If you're fighting undead, Exorcism works for this too. 

- If all else fails, start healing the squishie so you can keep him alive until the party kills the monsters, or until Righteous Defense becomes available again. Blessing of Sacrifice works nicely with this as well. 


2.3 Jeez, Righteous Defense is really clumsy to use, since you have to target a friend with it. Is there a way to make it easier? 

Yes. Create the following macro and attach it to a hotkey: 

Quote:

/cast [help] Righteous Defense; [target=targettarget,help] Righteous Defense



If you use this macro on a friendly target, it will cast Righteous Defense normally. If you use it on an enemy target that's attacking a friend, it will cast Righteous Defense on your friend (in other words, behave like a warrior's Taunt). This removes the need to fumble around and switch targets while tanking. 


2.4 Can a Paladin be a main healer for a party? 

Yes, but you need a lot of mana, you have to spend just about all your time healing, and your party has to know how to manage aggro. 

If you want to be main healer for an instance run, load up on +int gear. At higher levels, look for, +healing and mana regen (mana/5 seconds) gear as well. It doesn't matter if it's not plate, because you'll be spending your time in the back of the party pretending to be a priest, and Paladin heals don't draw much aggro. 

In the instance, put Blessing of Light on the tank(s), Blessing of Wisdom on yourself, and Blessing of Salvation on everyone else in the party. Use Flash of Light to keep the tank(s) as close to full health as possible -- it's a weak heal but it's very mana efficent. If a healing emergency comes up, switch to Holy Light to patch people up, and then go back to Flash once everyone is safe. You'll rarely draw aggro, but if you get a lot of monsters pounding on you for some reason, use Divine Shield. 

At higher levels (60-70) this becomes substantially more difficult, although still quite possible. Holy talents help quite a bit at this stage of the game, because "emergencies" where you have to do a lot of healing quickly become more common. 


2.5 Why don't anti-undead spells like Exorcism work against Undead PC's? 

Lore answer: Undead PCs are Forsaken, which are different from regular undead. 

Game answer: Because Blizzard says so, that's why. 

Full answer: In the Beta test of WoW, Undead PCs were actual undead. This meant that they were vulnerable to all of the Paladin anti-undead abilities as well as the Priest's Shackle Undead spell, but they were immune to abilities that work on humanoids only, such as sap and polymorph. This made it very difficult to balance PvP, because Alliance mages and rogues were substantially weaker against Undead than against the other Horde races, while Priests and Paladins were stronger. In the end, Blizzard decided that it was easier to simply treat Undead PCs as Humanoids. 


3 Strategy 

(Much of the information in this section is my personal opinion, and should be treated as such.) 

3.1 So what should I be doing in an instance group? 

Above all, watch out for the safety of the group. Watch for problems and fix them when they happen, or at least do what you can to hold down the fort until the rest of the group can deal with it. 

Keep the group blessed, or at least make sure everyone's blessed before the fights start. Salvation is your most powerful PvE blessing; the whole group will run a lot smoother if you put this on everyone except paladins and warriors (and maybe hunters). 

I like to keep NPC health bars turned on (V key) so I can see at a glance how the battle is going. Watch the enemy health bars, watch your own party's health bars, and watch where everyone is standing. It's helpful to zoom out as far as you can so you can watch the whole battle. (I even increased the max zoom distance in the options menu.) Once you get into the habit of watching your group, you'll learn without much trouble what to do in particular situations. This includes things like: 

Put blessing of protection on cloth-wearers that draw aggro. 

Use purify/cleanse to get rid of debuffs on your party members. 

Pitch in with healing if you notice the main-healer falling behind. 

Have Righteous Fury on yourself, and use Righteous Defense and holy damage to get ahold of loose mobs that the main tank can't pick up. 

Use judgement of justice to stop mobs that look like they're about to run away. 

If everything looks cool, feel free to dps, but keep your eyes open. 

Hammer of justice is your wild-card problem-fixer. You can use it to stop a runner, keep a squishy alive, draw aggro on a loose mob, and a lot of other things, but you only get it once per fight unless it's a really long one, or maybe unless you have points in the Improved Hammer of Justice talent. Don't waste it when you have other options available, and definitely don't use it needlessly. (This is one of the biggest things I see Paladins doing wrong when I play pickup groups with my warrior and the Paladin just stuns a random mob at the very beginning of the fight. Not only is it a waste of an important tool, it actually hurts the warrior because the stunned mob isn't hitting her, so she's not getting rage as quickly.) 

Basically, just learn to watch your group and the enemy and remember that keeping the party safe is your strong point. When you're playing well, you probably won't hear people saying "Wow, ______, you're an awesome paladin!" But they will say things like "Wow, I can't believe how smooth this run is going. We haven't wiped at all!" and that's when you know you're kicking ***. 


3.2 What about duels and 1v1 PvP? 

The strength of the class in PvP is survival. In most cases, your best bet in a 1v1 situation is to turn the fight into a battle of attrition. You're not likely to be able to out-dps anyone, but you can oulast almost anyone if you play smart. You'll need decent damage output to make this work, but don't go overboard to the point where you're gimping your health and mana pool. 

I'm not going to go into all the details of fighting every class out there, but one thing is important in almost all one-on-one fights: Most classes have ways to interrupt heals -- counterspell, shield bash, kick, earthshoch, etc -- so you'll need to plan ahead to heal only when they can't do that to you. This usually means saving your stun and your shields (and Repentance if you have it) for situations where you need to heal. There are some cases where you can use HoJ offensively, but usually you should go into a duel with it earmarked for healing. 


3.3 Okay, and what about group PvP? 

The principle is the same as group PvE -- keep your teammates alive and safe -- but the methods are very different. Damage comes a lot faster in PvP, and smart teams will focus fire on the squishier members of your group, so you have to keep your eyes open and react fast. 

Use your blessings. Blessing of Freedom has only a 20-second cooldown, so toss it around liberally to get rid of hamstrings and wingclips on your teammates. 

Blessing of Sacrifice can do a lot to keep a squishy alive against focused fire. As an extra bonus, the damage transfer from the blessing will make you immune to sap/polymorph/etc. Always toss BoSac on a teammate or two when you start fighting. 

And of course Blessing of Protection turns any cloth-wearer into an almost-unkillable god for ten seconds. It also breaks sap, and you can even cast it on yourself when you're sapped. 

Cleanse nasty stuff off of your group. You probably won't be able to keep everyone clean, so learn to recognize what's important. Squishies are fragile, so keep DoTs off of them. Rogues can't stealth with DoTs or hunter marks on them, so try to keep those taken care of as well. On the other hand, a warrior probably isn't going to die from a Shadow Word: Pain, so if there are other things going on you can let that slide. 

Healing can be tough at times because our only useful PvP heal takes 2.5 seconds, compared to 1.5 seconds for other classes. This makes our heals harder to get off in time when someone is beating hard on a teammate. It helps a lot if you can start a heal before your target even starts taking damage, and the way to predict this is to watch the enemy. Compared to PvE healing, you'll need to spend a bit more time watching the action and a bit less time watching health bars. Try to avoid enemies that can interrupt your heals, and use the confusion of battle to your advantage; if a mage is tossing fireballs at someone else, he'll almost never switch targets to counterspell you. 

Hunters also love to toss pets onto paladins to slow down the healing. Concentration Aura is your friend here. (You did put those five points in Spiritual Focus, didn't you?) 

There are times to melee and deal damage of course, but your first priority should be taking care of your group. Spending 2.5 seconds to heal a warrior is probably going to help your group dps more than any damage you could do in that time, and casting BoP on a priest who's getting ganked by a rogue is a much bigger help than trying to kill the rogue yourself. The best quote about PvP I've ever seen was on the Wow Paladin forum: "When I'm playing well, I'm making everyone else on my team look really good." 


4 Weapons and Gear 

4.1 Should I learn all the weapon types? Do I need to keep all my weapon skills trained up to the maximum for my level? Where do I learn to use <insert weapon type here>? 

If you play long enough you'll probably eventually want all of the weapon skills, but there's no need to spend money on all of them early on. You can wait to learn a weapon skill until you actually find a weapon of that type that you want to use. (Though if you're at the trainer and you have the money in your pocket, there's no reason not to just get all the weapon skills right there.) 

Same goes for raising your weapon skill: if you have a nice axe you're going to use for awhile, don't worry about skilling up maces. When you find a mace and you want to switch, you can train up then. The only exception is that you should be trained up to your level maximum in a one-hand and a two-hand skill, because you'll need both one-handers and two-handers for different situations. 

If you're Alliance, You can learn one-handed and two-handed swords and polearms from Woo Ping in Stormwind. You can learn one-handed and two-handed axes from a trainer in Ironforge whose name escapes me at the moment. Either trainer can be found by asking a guard in the appropriate city for help. There's also a sword trainer in Darnassus if you're unfortunate enough to find yourself there needing training. 

If you're Horde, you can learn one and two-handed maces in Thunder Bluff, one and two-handed axes in Orgrimmar, and polearms in Silvermoon City. 


4.2 Is there any difference between axes, swords, and maces? 

For a paladin, no. Axe = mace = sword for a paladin. Human paladins do get a skill bonus for maces and swords, but this is very small compared to the differences between weapons. Use whichever weapon has the best stats or looks the coolest. 


4.3 Should I use a one-hand weapon and shield, or a two-hander? 

Both. 

One-hand and shield is better for tanking with a group, for soloing tougher melee monsters, and basically any situation where you need to last a long time. 

A two-hander is better for dealing raw damage (in most cases), for soloing easier monsters and spellcaster types, and for most PvP situations. 

These are guidelines, not rules. You should go with your own instincts and what you feel comfortable with in different situations. 


4.4 What kind of weapon is best for a Paladin? 

It depends on your spec and what you're doing. 

A Retribution spec Paladin trying to deal damage will generally be best off with a slow weapon. Seal of Command and Crusader Strike both give "free" weapon swings, so it pays to have a slow weapon to make these swings as powerful as possible. 

Seal of Righteousness, on the other hand, doesn't care what speed weapon you're using. Slower weapons do more SoR damage per swing, but since they swing slower the dps comes out the same. 

If you're Protection specced and have Reckoning, then ideally you'll want a weapon with a speed of 2.0 or slower to make your Reckoning procs last the full eight seconds. 

If you're using Judgement of Light or Judgement of Wisdom to regenerate health or mana, you'll want a fast weapon to maximize the number of times you proc the judgement. (Note that this applies to the judgements only, not the seals.) 


4.5 Okay, what's the best two-hand weapon for a level 60 Paladin that isn't ridiculously hard to get? 

There are a lot of good, slow blue two-handers available at the endgame, including Dreadforge Retaliator (Blackrock Depths), Blackhand Doomsaw (Upper Blackrock Spire), Tombstone Axe (Scholomance), Malown's Slam (Stratholme), Ice-Barbed Spear (Alterac Valley quest reward), Hammer of the Titans (crafted), and Arcanite Reaper (crafted). The Arcanite Reaper does the most damage, though Malown's Slam is my personal favorite for the proc. But any of these weapons will serve you well. 

Of course, if you can get your hands on something purple from MC or wherever, then by all means go for it. 


4.6 What are important stats for a paladin, and how do they affect me? 

Short answer: For grouping, stamina and intellect. For soloing, stamina and a mix of intellect and strength depending on your build and how much mana you think you'll need. 

The primary stats work like this for a paladin: 

+1 stamina = +10 max health 

+1 intellect = +15 max mana 
+60 intellect = +1% chance to crit with spells (at level 60, possibly varies by level) 

+7 strength = +14 attack power = +1 dps with a melee weapon 
+20 strength = +1 damage blocked with a shield (maybe a bit less) 

+1 agility = +2 armor 
+20 agility = +1% chance to crit melee attacks (at level 60, varies by level) 

+X spirit = increased mana regeneration when not casting, increased health regeneration out of combat 

The focus of the class is taking a beating and staying alive, so stamina is clearly very important. You'll also need mana to do just about anything useful, so intellect is important as well. Strength boosts your damage output, which is useful when you're alone but not so important in groups where other classes will be pumping out more damage. 

Agility boosts your crit rate, which is nice, but in the long run you'll get a much bigger damage boost from strength, so it's not worth sacrificing other stats for agility. If you want to boost your crit rate, look for items with direct +crit% bonuses, which are not hard to find at level 60. 

Spirit can be useful for soloing by reducing downtime between kills. However in group situations, especially at higher levels, you'll find yourself casting something or other very often. Since you don't regenerate mana from spirit for 5 seconds after the last spell you cast, even throwing a few cleanses in a fight can put a big damper on your spirit regen. For this reason, spirit isn't much use in groups. If you need mana regeneration for long fights, look for gear that restores mana every 5 seconds, which will always give you mana back whether you're casting or not. 


4.7 How does +spelldamage and +healing gear work for a Paladin? (or "Why don't I ever get the full bonus from JotC?") 

Some gear comes with bonuses such as "Increases damage and healing by spells and effects by up to X", or just "Increases healing done by spells and effects by up to X". For short, these are usually called something like +spelldamage and +healing. These bonuses increase the damage or healing done by spells; the exact amount they increase it depends on the spell. 

Usually, a spell with a casting time of 3.5 seconds will get the full bonus listed for the item. Spells that take less than 3.5 seconds to cast will get a proportionately smaller bonus. So, as an example, Holy Light has a 2.5 second cast time, so it will get 2.5/3.5, or about 71% of the full bonus. Flash of Light has a 1.5 second cast time, so it gets about 43% of the full bonus. If you picked up a piece of gear that gave you +35 healing, that would add 15 points to every Flash of Light, and 25 points to every Holy Light you cast. (That may not sound like a lot, but if you can collect a number of pieces with +healing bonuses, Flash of Light can actually become a very powerful spell for the amount of mana it costs to cast.) 

Gear with +spelldamage works in a similar manner. However, most spells with casting times less than 1.5 seconds still get treated as 1.5-second casts. So for example, Hammer of Wrath (1 second cast) and Exorcism (instant cast) still get a 43% bonus to their damage from +spelldamage gear. There are some exceptions, however, for things like AoE spells and Seals that proc. 

The bonus from Judgement of the Crusader is treated the same way as +spelldamage gear, except it applies only to Holy damage. So for example, if you judge the highest rank of Crusader (+140 Holy damage) onto an undead target and then hit it with Exorcism, you'll get 43% of the bonus, or 60 extra points of damage. (This explains why you never ever get the full bonus from JotC.) 

Here's the full rundown on which Paladin abilities get how much bonus: 

Seal of Righteousness: 10%. This is 10% per swing, so if you're using +spelldamage gear with SoR, a fast weapon will do more holy damage than a slow one -- this can be important for tanking. 

Judgement of Righteousness: 50%. 

Seal of Command: 29% (per proc). 

Judgement of Command: 43%. 

Consecration: 33%. This amount is spread over the entire length of the spell. It takes 24 points of +spelldamage to increase the damage of each tick of Consecration by 1 point. 

Holy Shock: 43%. If used for healing it gets the +healing bonus. If used for damage it gets only the +damage bonus. 

Hammer of Wrath: 43%. 

Exorcism: 43%. 

Holy Wrath: 19%. 

Blessing of Sanctuary: 0%. 

Holy Shield: 10%. (Not sure if this is 10% per hit or 10% over the whole 4 charges. If someone can investigate this, please let me know.) 

Retribution Aura: 0%. 

Holy Light: 71%. 

Flash of Light: 43%. 


4.8 So what kind of gear should I be looking for? 

For greens, anything "of the Eagle" (sta/int) is good. For soloing, you can mix in some Bear (sta/str) if you like, or even some Gorilla (str/int). 

In most cases you'll want to stick with the heaviest armor you can wear (mail til level 40, plate afterwards) although in situations where you don't expect to get hit much it can sometimes be worth wearing leather or cloth if it gives you useful stats. 

At level 60 you can start accumulating some gear with +damage and +healing bonuses, which will boost your healing and holy damage abilities. 


4.9 What are Lightforge and Soulforge? Are they any good? Where do I get them? 

Lightforge Armor is the blue Paladin set (sometimes referred to as Dungeon Set 1, or Tier 0), and it drops in three of the endgame 5-10 man instances: Stratholme, Scholomance, and Blackrock Spire. It has eight pieces, some of which are great and some of which are not so great. Overall it's a fairly nice mixture of stamina, intellect, strength, and even some agility. 

Drop locations: 

Gauntlets -- Timmy the Cruel, Stratholme (Scarlet side) 
Belt -- random mobs in Stratholme 
Boots -- Balnazzar, Stratholme (Scarlet side) 
Legplates -- Baron Rivendare, Stratholme (Undead side) 
Bracers -- random mobs in Scholomance 
Helm -- Darkmaster Gandling, Scholomance 
Spaulders -- The Beast, Upper Blackrock Spire 
Breastplate -- General Drakkisath, Upper Blackrock Spire 

These pieces vary in usefulness; some are excellent, others not so good. 

The various Lightforge pieces can be upgraded to the Soulforge Armor set through a series of level-60 quests that begin with Deliana in the throne room of Ironforge. The Soulforge set consists of four rare and four epic pieces, with a combination of stamina, intellect, strength, spell damage, mana regeneration, and melee and spell criticial bonuses. This makes it an excellent all-around set for a level 60 Paladin. 

The quest chain starts off with some fairly easy solo questiong, but quickly gets more difficult and requires a good group to complete. (Each class follows the same quest line to upgrade its armor set.) Be warned that a fairly substantial amount of cash (400-500g in total) and materials is required. The quest line can be done in stages, but you have to have all the pieces for each stage in order to upgrade and move on to the next series of quests. The first stage upgrades the bracers; the second upgrades belt and gloves; the third upgrades shoulders, leggings, and boots; and the final stage upgrades the helm and chestplate. 


4.10 What are the other Paladin sets? Where do I get them? Are they any good? 


The Tier 1 Paladin epic armor set is Lawbringer Armor, which is eight pieces and drops off of bosses and random mobs in Molten Core. This set has a lot of stamina and intellect, some mana regeneration and healing bonuses, and a decent amount of strength (though actually less than Lighforge). To get it, you'll have to go with a 40-man raid into Molten Core, which takes a fair bit of time and effort and can only be raided once a week. There will probably be at least 4-5 other Paladins on the raid who will also want Lawbringer, so it'll take you many months of regular MC raids to get the complete set. 

Lawbringer is nice for general PvE and PvP; it gives you a very nice mana pool and decent melee damage; you can fill out your other gear slots (rings, trinkets, etc) with either damage items or mana/healing items and still have a nice well-rounded gear set. 

The Tier 2 Paladin epic armor set is Judgement Armor, which has eight pieces. The legs drop off of Ragnaros in Molten Core, the helm drops off of Onyxia, and the other six pieces drop from bosses in Blackwing Lair, which is the higher-difficulty raid zone beyond Molten Core. Judgement has a strong mix of stamina, intellect, and strength, as well as mana regeneration and +spelldamage/healing bonuses, all of which make it excellent gear for Paladins. 

The Tier 3 Paladin epic armor set is Redemption Armor, 
which has nine pieces (the normal eight armor slots, plus a ring) and can be obtained by raiding Naxxramus. This set is designed totally for healing; it includes no offensive stats or bonuses, but a lot of stamina, intellect, mana regeneration, and healing bonuses. 

Avenger's Battlegear is a five-piece set (helm, shoulders, chest, legs, feet) that can be obtained through quests and faction-building in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. The set is damage-oriented, with large amounts of stamina, intellect, strength, and agility, as well as mana regeneration, +spelldamage/healing, and +crit (both melee and spells). 

The "superior quality" Paladin PvP armor set is the Lieutenant Commander's Redoubt, which includes six pieces (no bracers or belt) and can be purchased at PvP ranks 7-10. This set was introduced in patch 1.12, and is designed along similar lines to Soulforge, but it focuses a bit more on stamina and strength at the cost of some intellect. Notably, the three-piece set bonus reduces the cooldown on Hammer of Justice by 10 seconds. 

The Lieutenant Commander's Aegis is the older blue PvP set. This set is no longer available from the PvP vendor, as it has been replaced by the Lieutenant Commander's Redoubt. However, you may see it occasionally on Paladins who purchased it prior to patch 1.12. 

The epic Paladin PvP armor set is the Field Marshal's Aegis, which is basically a beefier version of the blue set. You can get this if you reach PvP ranks 12 and 13. 

Freethinker's Armor is a five-piece set that can be obtained through questing and faction grinding in Zul'Gurub, the 20-man raid zone in Stranglethorn Vale. The necklace and chestplate are purple; the bracers, belt, and trinket are blue. The items are well-designed for PvP and general PvE, with a nice balance of sta/int/str/agi. The chest has a +1% crit bonus and the necklace increases Hammer of Justice duration by half a second. 

Although it is not officially a Paladin set, Deathbone Guardian is a set designed with Paladin tanking in mind. The set features stamina, defense, and mana regeneration, and can be mixed and matched with other pieces in order to put together a good tanking set. 


4.11 Where can I get some good crit gear? 


There's a lot of gear out there that gives +crit% bonuses, and listing it all would be a monumental task. However, if you've just reached level 60 and you're looking to accumulate some +crit% gear, the best place to start is by doing quests that give it as a reward. You can get all these pieces without having to do a dungeon/raid over and over hoping for a lucky drop, and you won't have to roll against snippy warriors, rogues, and hunters for them. 

Blackhand's Breadth (trinket). This is a fantastic little trinket. The quest line starts when you kill Overlord Wyrmthalaak in Lower Blackrock Spire (you can do this in a raid) and you loot a letter from his body. It ends with a quest to kill General Drakkisath in Upper Blackrock Spire, which can be done in a 10-man raid. 

Omokk's Girth Restrainer (plate belt). This involves killing three Lower Blackrock Spire bosses in a 5-man group. The quest line starts with a goblin named Bijou in LBRS. 

Gordok's Handguards (plate gloves). Nice damage-dealing gloves. This quest comes from Captain Kromcrush in Dire Maul North, and can only be obtained and turned in after a successful tribute run. To complete the quest, you'll have to kill Prince Tortheldin in Dire Maul West. 

Magni's Will (ring). This is an excellent ring for damage dealing. The quest line is challenging, and involves killing the Emperor in Blackrock Depths with a 5-man group. The chain begins with King Magni in Ironforge. 

Band of the Penitent (ring). This is not a very good ring, since it only has the +crit%, but it's very easy to get. All you need to do is collect five Holy Waters from crates inside Stratholme. The quest starts at Light's Hope Chapel in Eastern Plaguelands. 

Blinkstrike Armguards (plate bracers). Like the Ring of the Penitent, this isn't a very good item, but if you're a total junkie for crit gear, you can use these until you find something better. The quest line starts with Count Remington Ridgewell in the Stormwind Keep. 


5 Questing and Leveling 


5.1 Where should I quest/grind at level ____? 

See the WoW Region Level Guide. 


5.2 Yeah yeah, I know about that, but where are the undead? 

(Massive thanks to LikeIke for helping to fill out this list, including all of the instances.) 

Levels 21-30: Duskwood 
Levels 26-30: Wetlands (The Lost Fleet) 
Levels 28-30: Ashenvale (Dor'danil Barrow Den) 
Levels 32-37: Desolace (small area in south center) 
Levels 36-42: Desolace (outside Mauradon) 
Levels 40-45: Stranglethorn Vale (Zanzil ruins) 
Levels 45-50: Azshara (Highborne ruins) 
Levels 50-55: Western Plaguelands 
Levels 51-56: Winterspring (Lake Maz'Thoril) 
Levels 53-58: Silithus 
Levels 55-60: Eastern Plaguelands 
Levels 59-60: Deadwind Pass (south of the map) 

According to several people, the undead on the large island near Hillsbrad are apparently elites now. 

Instances: 

Levels 22-30: Shadowfang Keep 
Levels 33-40: Razorfen Downs 
Levels 34-45: Scarlet Monestary (Graveyard section) 
Levels 44-54: Zul'Farrak (Graveyard past the bug farm) 
Levels 45-55: Temple of Atal'Hakkar (Sunken Temple) 
Levels 55-60: Dire Maul (West side) 
Levels 56-60: Scholomance 
Levels 58-60: Stratholme 


5.3 How do I get the quest for Redemption (Resurrection)? 

The quest chain should start with Brother Wilhelm, the Paladin trainer in Goldshire, or with Brandur Ironhammer, the trainer in Ironforge. Either one will send you to talk to Duthorian Rall in Stormwind. You can get the quest once you reach level 12. (If you're well past level 12 and never got the quest, you should still be able to pick it up from one of these people, even though you may not see a yellow exclamation point over their heads anymore.) 


5.4 Is there a level 20 quest? 

Yes, and it's one of the best quest series in the game. To start it, speak to Duthorian Rall in Stormwind. When you've finished all the quests in the chain, you'll get a very, very nice reward. 

For a thorough guide to this questline (with spoilers, however) see Navigar's post here. 


5.5 Woohoo! Level 40! Now what's this I'm hearing about a free mount? 

Go speak to Duthorian Rall in Stormwind, or Brandur Ironhammer in 
Ironforge (who will send you to Stormwind anyway). 


5.6 Okay, I'm at level 50 now. Anything special here? 

Talk to Brandur Ironhammer in Ironforge. He'll start you on a quest line that takes you out to Western Plaguelands and then later on to Sunken Temple. The end reward is your choice of a sword, a ring, or a trinket. 


5.7 Okay, I just hit level 60. So what do I do to get one of these spiky gold epic mounts? 

Talk to Brandur Ironhammer in Ironforge. He'll send you to speak to Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker, which will start you on the epic mount quest. 

I strongly recommend that you acquire most or all of the supplies and cash you'll need for the quest before you begin. These items, and approximate costs: 

300g cash for "donations" to the Order. 

Another 50g cash for Meredith Carlson to make Mana-Enriched Horse Feed. 

1 Pristine Black Diamond (much cheaper since recent patches boosted the drop rate, should be around 30g or less) 

1 Azerothian Diamond (usually less than 10g) 

6 Arcanite Bars (150-200g total depending on server) 

5 Stratholme Holy Water (free from a Stratholme raid or 5-man) 

40 Runecloth (easy to collect from drops, less than 5g if you really want to buy it) 

10 Arthas' Tears (probably 5g or so) 

20 Enriched Mana Biscuits (cheap from Argent Dawn vendor; requires Friendly reputation with Argent Dawn, which you should already have from doing Plaguelands quests.) 

Total cost should be less than 600g if you pay market prices for all the items. 


6 Talents 


6.1 Help! I just reached level 10 and I have no idea what to do with my talent points! 

There are a lot of viable builds, and the game is pretty forgiving if you choose a less-than-perfect build. And at any point, you can go to the trainer and pay a bit of gold to get all your talent points back to spend again. So nothing is set in stone; don't be afraid to experiment. 

But if you want advice... 

The most useful leveling talents are Seal of Command, Spiritual Focus, and the Divine Favor/Illumination combo. Seal of Command provides an enormous damage boost when using a slow two-handed weapon. 

Spiritual Focus is still incredibly useful for almost anything a Paladin does. Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom the developers chose to move it from the first tier of the Holy tree (where it was prior to the 1.9 patch) to the second tier of the Holy tree, so it's not as easy to get. 

Divine Favor and Illumination combine to give you a free critical heal every two minutes, which is a huge benefit when you're grinding through monsters alone or with a group. However, this has also been moved deeper into the Holy tree. 

So, you have two choices: 

1) Go for Seal of Command first, have it at level 20, and take advantage of the damage boost. You'll have to be careful about healing when you're getting whacked on, because you won't have Spiritual Focus until 26-30 or so, so you'll have to use your stun and shields to buy time to heal. 

2) Get Divine Strength or Divine Intellect first, and then go for Spiritual Focus at levels 15-19. Damage-wise, you'll have to get by with Seal of Righteousness until you can climb Retribution for SoC (which you can have by level 30), but you'll have the comfort of being able to reliably heal while you're getting hit. 

Either way will do well; it's a matter of personal preference. I don't recommend the Protection tree for leveling anymore; it doesn't reach full potency until you get Holy Shield, which you won't have until level 40 at least. Prior to that it doesn't contain many useful leveling talents. 

6.2 So what's the best tree/what are the best talents? 

Depends on what you like to do and how you like to do it. The Holy tree focuses on healing efficiency and holy damage. Protection is about stuns, shield blocking, and reactive damage. Retribution is about raw melee damage. 

Most of the talents give you a moderate increase in the power of abilities you already have. There are a few however that truly change your game. These are spread throughouth the trees, so you have to pick and choose which you want. The talents that make a major difference, in my opinion, are: 

Consecration (Holy) is useful in both PvE and PvP. In PvE it's a great source of holy damage for tanking; it'll generate threat on all mobs in the area of effect, even more so if you have Righteous Fury up. In PvP it interrupts channeled spells, slows down spellcasting, and de-stealths rogues. Usually the damage isn't worth the mana cost, so in PvP you can stick with rank 1 to conserve mana most of the time. However, when you're trying to kill someone quickly, it can be worthwhile to spend the mana for the extra damage. 

Divine Favor is a free critical heal every two minutes (with the prerequisite Illumination). This is hugely useful almost anywhere. In solo PvE it lets you grind with very little downtime. In solo PvP, it lets you heal a much larger fraction of your health bar in one heal (very useful when you only have a six-second stun to heal yourself without getting interrupted). In group situations it lets you stretch your healing beyond what your mana bar would normally allow. Since the 1.9 patch, there's no limit on how long you can wait between casting Divine Favor and casting the Heal, so if you like you can simply cast it before a fight and it'll be there until you actually cast your first heal. This makes it much more useful in group PvP because you don't have to take the extra time to cast Divine Favor right before a heal. 

Holy Shock (Holy) is terribly mana-inefficient, but its value is that it's a burst of damage you can use exactly when you need it. It's the only instant-damage ability we get in PvP. This is great for finishing off enemies that are almost dead before they can heal (in conjunction with Hammer of Wrath), interrupting channeling spells (like bandaging), and pulling aggro (with Righteous Fury). Since the 1.9 patch, it can also be used as a heal, although it's fairly weak (about on the level of your maximum rank of Flash of Light). 

Blessing of Kings (Protection) makes everyone better at whatever they're already good at. If the target has reasonably good gear, this is the best buff in the game; it can give more total stat points than Improved Mark of the Wild, and more importantly it distributes those points to wherever the character needs them most (assuming intelligent gear choice, of course). Very nice in groups, especially in large raids with multiple paladins. 

Reckoning (Protection) turns your opponents' crits against them. This works on all crits, including ranged and spell crits. If your autoattack is turned off when you get critted, the extra attack will be stored. You can save up to four attacks this way, and all of them will be released when you turn autoattack back on. This is incredibly useful because it lets you store up free attacks while you're stunned, or being kited, or just healing and supporting your teammates; then once you have four, you can run over to a cloth-wearer, switch on autoattack, and take away 2/3 of their health in one shot. This is not generally useful in PvE, where monster crit rates are low and you won't get kited or stunned. For some people Reckoning won't help much, but if it matches your playstyle it's a fantastic talent. 

Holy Shield (Protection) allows you to put out very nice dps without giving up on the damage mitigation of wielding a shield -- as long as you're being attacked. This can be used for efficient solo grinding (usually fighting two mobs at once to use up all four charges), for keeping aggro in instances (with Judgement of Fury) and for destroying rogues and dual-wield warriors in PvP. 

Seal of Command (Retribution) is the best damage-boosting ability available to Paladins. The chance for it to proc depends on the speed of the weapon; slower weapons have a higher chance to proc per swing, and you can expect any weapon to proc 6-8 times per minute. Since it does 70% of weapon damage, a slow, hard-hitting weapon is the best for this. The description says it does "additional holy damage" but the way it really behaves is like an extra melee attack that does holy damage. The proc can be dodged, parried, or blocked, but it crits at the melee crit chance for 200% damage (instead of 150% damage like spells), and armor has no effect on it. The judgement also behaves the same way, so if you crit the judgement you'll do 200% damage (potentially 800+ points) that won't be affected by armor. 

Repentance (Retribution) has the same mana cost and cooldown as Hammer of Justice, so it's effectively a second stun every minute. It does break on damage, but it's also ranged, so you can use it as a spell interrupt, to stop runners, or to get full damage from Judgement of Command. Only marginally useful in PvE (most mobs aren't humanoids) but absolutely fantastic in PvP. 


6.3 So what's a good talent build? 

There are a lot of them. Here are a few sample builds with different strengths. These are all meant to be general outlines, and if you use one of these you should customize it with the particular talents you like. (Links go to the talent calculator at wowhead.com.) 

Shockadin (33/0/18) 

This is a classic build updated for the new talents in the 1.9 patch. The deep spec in Holy gives excellent healing for both PvP and PvE, while the Retribution talents give very good melee damage. This build packs more controlled burst damage than any other spec, which makes it excellent for duels and PvP. The version here is my current spec, which I use for endgame PvE raids and occasional PvP. 

Healer/tank (31/20/0) 

An excellent spec for PvE raids, since it gives you excellent healing and the ever-popular BoK. This also works well for tanking in 5-man groups, with Improved Righteous Fury and Consecration, as well as shortened cooldowns for Hammer of Justice and Blessing of Protection. Also very useful in group PvP, although the lack of Seal of Command means this build works much better in a support role. 

Combat Medic (22/29/0) 

This is a build optimized for PvP healing and support. Reduced cooldowns on Hammer of Justice and Blessing of Protection improve the ability to protect teammates in group PvP situations, and Improved Concentration Aura makes it easier to keep healing under fire. Consecration is also available for some light AoE damage, and Reckoning delivers huge amounts of burst damage when taking crits. 

Retribution/Holy (16/0/35) 

A PvP-oriented spec based on the Retribution tree, although it can also work well for PvE. Best tactic for killing things with this build is to load up on +crit gear to keep Vengeance active as much as possible. Repentance is handy for squeezing full damage out of Judgement of Command, for interrupting spells, for stopping runners, and for buying time to heal. 

Reckoning/Seal of Command (9/26/16) 

This is a another support-oriented PvP spec; however it also has the ability to deal out substantial damage under the right circumstances with Reckoning and Seal of Command. The tactic for this build would be to spend your time healing, blessing, cleansing, and otherwise supporting your teammates until you take four crits, and then go unleash the full Reckoning bomb on a cloth-wearer. (Note that with 4/5 points in Spiritual Focus and 3/3 points in Improved Concentration Aura, this spec can still reach 100% non-damage-interruption to healing.) 

Tankadin (19/32/0) 

Holy Shield is a nifty talent; unfortunately the fact that it requires 31 points means there isn't a lot of room for varied builds with it. This is a tanking-oriented build designed for getting aggro with Consecration and keeping it with Holy Shield. 

Smashadin (7/8/36) 

This guy's goal is maximum damage in PvE. He doesn't care about much else. My personal opinion is that if you're seriously considering this build you'd probably be happier rolling a warrior. But, people sometimes ask for the build that deals the most damage, so here it is. 

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Hey m8 , this is probably TBC Guide

Quote

- The first thing you should do is cast Righteous Defense on whoever's getting beaten up. Unless it's resisted, this will cause all the enemies attacking that person to come back to you. Follow this up with a threat-generating ability like Consecration. 

Righteous Defense was Taunt for Paladins added in TBC , so basically this is not Vanilla Guide.

Quote

The Spiritual Attunement ability gives you mana each time you're healed by someone besides yourself.

This is TBC

/Kind regards Killerduki

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13 hours ago, Aedi said:

This is a classic build updated for the new talents in the 1.9 patch. The deep spec in Holy gives excellent healing for both PvP and PvE, while the Retribution talents give very good melee damage. This build packs more controlled burst damage than any other spec, which makes it excellent for duels and PvP. The version here is my current spec, which I use for endgame PvE raids and occasional PvP. 

What talents were/are new in 1.9 patch? Anathema is on patch 1.9 since aq right? 

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On 5/11/2017 at 2:24 PM, Aedi said:

Added the source.

 

I found it helpful. Never claimed it was mine.

Can you update the guide?

remove the TBC stuff, add some talent builds (since you removed the old links).

I know it says through naxx, but honestly it has nothing to do with naxx. It mention tier 3, that's it.

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