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- 1 Mists of Pandaria
- 2 Paladin Strengths
- 3 Paladin Weaknesses
- 4 Basic Leveling/soloing Strategies
- 5 What stats affect my damage the most?
- 6 Basic Partying Strategies
- 7 Strategies in Details
- 8 PvP
Paladin tactics for Mists of Pandaria are presented below. Be advised that the rest of the article is significantly out of date, and that while it may contain some strategies and advice that is still relevant to the current game, much of its content may no longer be accurate.
Mists of Pandaria
Blessings (remember to keep one up):
- increases Strength, Agility and Intellect by 5%.
- increases Mastery.
- Do some research on theorycrafting sites to determine which blessing is more useful for your spec or party.
Seals (remember to keep one up):
- increases casting speed by 10%, increases healing by 5% and causes your melee attacks to heal you and restore your mana. It's generally the best seal for Holy paladins.
- causes your melee attacks to deal an additional 6% damage as holy to all nearby enemies. It's generally the best seal for AoE against 3 or more foes.
- causes your melee attacks to deal an additional 12% damage as holy and apply the Censure DoT. It's generally the best seal for Protection and Retribution paladins.
- is exclusive to Retribution paladits. It causes your melee attacks to deal 16% additional Holy damage and reduce your targets's movement speed by 50% for 8 seconds. It's useful in PvP, and beats Seal of Truth in short fights against weak, single foes.
Cooldowns and miscellaneous abilities:
- stuns the target for 6 seconds with a 1 minute cooldown.
- heals a target for an amount equal to your maximum health with a 10 minute cooldown. Causes a 1 minute Forbearance debuff, and can't be cast on targets with Forbearance. It should be saved for emergencies.
- prevents all damage and spells for 8 seconds, but reduces your damage by 50% for the duration. Causes a 1 minute Forbearance debuff, and can't be cast while you have Forbearance. It should be saved for emergencies.
- removes poison and disease debuffs.
- reduces incoming magical damagy by 40% for 10 seconds with a 1 minute cooldown.
- Use to interrupt casters.
- Use to CC a demon or undead enemy for 40 seconds.
- makes an ally immute to physical attacks for 10 seconds, but prevents the ally from attacking or using physical abilities. 5 minute cooldown, causes Forbearance for 1 minute, cannot be cast on allies with Forbearance. Players can only have one Hand buff per paladin at a time.
- protects the target from movement impairing effects for 6 seconds. 25 second cooldown. Players can only have one Hand buff per paladin at a time.
- reduces incoming damage for all party and raid members by 20% and protects them from Silence and Interrupt effects for 6 seconds. 3 minute cooldown. Save for emergencies.
- reduces the target's total threat by 2% per second for 10 seconds. 2 minute cooldown. Players can only have one Hand buff per paladin at a time. Use in emergencies when a party member pulls threat of the tank.
- increases your damage and healing by 20% for 20 seconds, with a 3 minute cooldown. Save for tough fights.
- transfers 30% of incoming damage from an ally to you for the next 12 seconds, or until it's transferred damage equal to your maximum health. Players can only have one Hand buff per paladin at a time. Save for emergencies when an ally's getting low on health
- disorients all enemise within 10 yards for 6 seconds, with a 2 minute cooldown.
- Pull with
- Use Holy Power generator on cooldown unless you're capped:
- Use if is active.
- Use against single targets.
- Use to apply or refresh Weakened Blows, and when fighting.
- Use on cooldown.
- Use Holy Power spenders at 3+ Holy Power:
- Use to deal damage, reduce incoming damage and stack / refresh Bastion of Glory.
- Use when you need healing.
- Use , , and when you have a free GCD and nothing better to use.
- Protection has two exclusive defensive cooldowns:
- Pull with .
- Use Holy Power generators on cooldown unless you're capped.
- is generally higher priority, since it deals more damage.
- Use if is on cooldown, the target is out of melee range or you need to apply or refresh Physical Vulnerability.
- Use Holy Power spenders at 3+ Holy Power.
- Use when you have a free GCD and no higher priority spells are available.
- frees you from one movement impairing effect.
- summons a spirit to attack your current target for 30 seconds, with a 5 minute cooldown. Save for tough fights.
- Can be the tank, healer, or damage dealer, based on current spec.
- Strong survivability against in both PvE and PvP because they can wear plate armor, self heal, and have various self protection skills.
- Can buff themselves and others in a variety of ways.
- Ability to cleanse most debuffs from themselves and others.
- No universally useful base skill long-range attack. There are ways around this:
- Reckoning a single target taunt, 30 yard range.
- The talent has a range of 30 yards and is the preferred way of pulling mobs for Protection Paladins. It deals a fair share of damage and interrupts spell casting, affecting up to two additional nearby targets.
- The talent Holy Shock is a 20 yard ranged ability with a 6 second timer and targets a single mob.
- can also be used as a ranged/pulling attack. Exorcism is usable against all targets, and will always critically hit when used against Undead or Demon targets. Don't forget that if you face a Warlock or Deathknight in PvP, their pets are demons or Undead. can be used against hunter pets however this will not always trigger a critical hit.
- Items: Trinkets such as Un'Goro), the engineering profession (for grenades and other ranged trinkets), by getting from an engineer, or items such as s. is a one-hand axe that drops off . (a reward for quest series in
- Due to their incapability to dish out ranged damage, if a PvP enemy wants to get away the Paladin will have to do something about it before the target gets too far.
- stuns the target for a short time (3-6 seconds, depending on rank), however, it's cooldown is also long -- one minute, untalented.
- can also be used also, though it will be canceled when damage is dealt, and it also has a one minute cooldown.
- A paladin's ability to stay alive is directly based on mana.
- The paladin is very susceptible to anything that counters spells and being killed as a result of a cast being interrupted is common. Interrupting a spell cast results in a complete lockout of any cast spell for the paladin, with the exception of melee attacks obtained through talents (in addition to auto attack): , , and .
- Switching to reduces the spell push back received from damage by 35%. For Paladins with the push back is eliminated all together.
Basic Leveling/soloing Strategies
During the early levels, you should spec retribution for higher melee damage. Use a 2-hand weapon with good DPS, and wear mail armor (plate after level 40) with Strength and Stamina. You should also keep a shield and a fast 1-hand weapon in the bag for special situations. Be sure to get Improved Judgements at 14-5, and at 40-44, and at 50. The other talents should be pretty self-explanatory (more damage is good).
Paladin soloing is dull but fairly fast. At early levels, you don't have very many buttons to press, but with a good weapon you have enough burst that things will die quickly. Pull with (at level 16 or above) Reckoning; this does a lot of damage for very little mana and is off the GCD. Judge whenever you can. That's basically it. If the mob runs, Reckoning will finish it off (since it's no longer targeting you). is useful when cast while pulling but not while the mob is hitting you, since it interrupts your melee attacks. When you have Art of War, becomes instant cast and should be used whenever possible. You'll finally get a short-cooldown attack at 50 with , and another at 60 with .
You have a lot of options when things get dicey. is a full heal on a moderate timer. and make you invulnerable long enough to heal up with . If these are all on cooldown, put on and try to get off before you die. , and can all help incapacitate a particularly tough foe.
Between 40 and 45 you'll get , giving you nigh-infinite mana. and are both moderate DPS boosters. The minor glyphs worth using are , a nice time saver, and , the only minor glyph that increases damage.
What stats affect my damage the most?
As a Retribution Paladin there are several stats that are important to your dps. These are strength/attack power (AP), hit rating 8% for PvE or 5% for PvP, and critical strike rating above 25% to keep Vengeance up. Spell damage no longer plays a major part in a Retribution Paladin's damage since patch 2.4.
Since patch 3.0.2, strength and attack power became the most important stats for Protection Paladins dps.
Spell damage coefficients and ability crit types are listed here.
All paladins benefit from spell power; however, only Holy Paladins should wear gear specifically with spell power on it. Protection and Retribution both possess talents (deep in each respective tree) to obtain a significant amount of spell power through a percentage of a baseline stat - Attack Power (and as a result, Strength) for Retribution, Strength for Protection.
Retribution utilizes two handed weapons with , or . These seals combined with a two handed weapon yield the highest DPS. Typically, a weapon with higher melee damage is preferred in weapons with near-identical weapon dps.
Protection utilizes one handed weapons with or while tanking, only using if they are Seal Twisting in order to push out a bit extra threat. Tanking with Seal of Corruption/Vengeance also has the added benefit of having the damage over time component being applied to every target strikes, allowing the paladin to build stacks of the dot on up to 2 additional targets. If solo'ing or dps'ing as Protection, the paladin most often should use Retribution gear while continuing to wield a one-hander and a shield, as Hammer of the Righteous does not work with a two-hander and you cannot use without a shield.
Holy utilizes one handed weapons with , , , or Seal of Vengeance/Corruption. Attack speed of the weapon does not affect the overall damage as most damage caused will be caused by using offensively, as well as Judgements and . In addition, the holy damage of Seal of Righteousness for each swing is inversely proportional to the attack speed. However, a faster weapon does give more proc when using Seal/Judgement of Wisdom/Light. Holy Paladins may also use Shield of Righteousness in their solo'ing/dps rotation when in melee range.
Basic Partying Strategies
As a hybrid class you can have three roles in a party: dps, tank, or healer. Which one you play at any given time will depend on your talent spec, the gear you bring with you, and the composition of the rest of the party. Make sure you (and others) are aware of your role from the outset to avoid problems later.
Strategies in Details
Always make sure you activate an aura appropriate to your situation. Change as the situation calls for because it's instant and costs no mana.
- Early on this is all you have. Mostly useful in groups after other auras become available.
- While soloing this will be the primary aura to maintain, it works especially well on fast hitting mobs.
- Available at 16th level.
- Switch to this aura when you need to heal. This is especially important if you do not have the talent . Combine it with the talent and there will be very few effects that will interrupt your healing.
- Available at 22nd level.
- Provides additional magical resistance to all party and raid members within 40 yards. Good for boss fights that use a lot of shadow attacks on the party or raid. E.g.,
It should be emphasized that Resistance Aura is very helpful for harder boss fights. For example, going off of the Resistance table on this site, a level 80 paladin using a resistance aura will block about 23.5% of spell damage inflicted of that magic type for a level 83 boss. If a boss hits the entire raid for 5000 damage to each person, that's 125000 damage in a 25-man. If the aura is used, that number can be brought down to 95625 damage. You would be mitigating about 29375 damage.
Make sure you always have a blessing active. As of Patch 4.0 all blessings have had their timers increased to 60 minutes and now buffs the entire party or raid. Remember that it is an instant cast, so even if you're in combat you can go ahead and bless yourself or others as necessary.
- This will increase your Attack Power by 10% and MP5 by a number based on your level.
- Increases all your base stats (except Spirit) by 5%, as well as increasing resistances to magic by a number based on your level. This blessing is important in situations where higher health is needed, such as tanking or PvP. It also increases your DPS by providing extra strength, although the improvement is not as big as Blessing of Might. In addition, it also increases your mana pool, although the improvement is most noticeable as Holy. This does not stack with .
Seals & Judgements
Seals are self-buffs which boost the Paladin's power temporarily. Effectively, they add a weapon proc to their melee strikes. Additionally, Paladins can judge these seals upon an enemy which deals damage and provides a judgement effect for 20 seconds. The judgement effect can benefit the paladin as well as others who are hitting the mobs, and only one judgement effect per paladin can exist on a target. For more detailed information see Paladin#Seals.
- By itself it provides X amount of additional Holy damage per hit based on weapon speed.
- When judged it causes instant holy damage to the target based on Attack Power and Spell Power.
- It is the initial seal for protection paladin tanks, however is replaced after obtaining or .
- Your first seal.
- Redesigned for patch 3.2.2
- All melee attacks will deal X to Y additional Holy damage.
- When judged does X to Y Holy damage.
- When used with attacks or abilities that strike a single target, this additional Holy damage will strike up to 2 additional targets.
- It is the preferred PvP seal for Retribution.
- Available through a talent in the Retribution tree beginning at level 20.
- By itself it provides a chance of stunning the target. This can only occur three times in a row on a target, as both mobs and players subject it to diminishing returns.
- When judged, causes some holy damage based on Spell Power and Attack Power.
- Available at level 22.
- By itself it provides a chance of returning X health per hit.
- adds 5% healing to all your spells while Seal of Light is active.
- When judged, causes some holy damage based on Spell Power and Attack Power.
- Available at level 30.
- By itself it provides a chance of returning a percentage of total mana per hit.
- reduces mana cost of all healing spells while Seal of Wisdom is active.
- When judged, causes some holy damage based on Spell Power and Attack Power.
- Available at level 38.
- (Alliance) and (Horde)
- Redesigned for patch 3.2
- Attacks apply Holy Vengeance (Alliance) (Blood Corruption (Horde)), which deals X additional Holy damage over 15 sec.
- Blood Corruption and Holy Vengeance can stack up to 5 times. Once stacked to 5 times, each of the Paladins attacks also deals 33% weapon damage as additional Holy damage.
- Judging this will deal X Holy damage to an enemy, increased by 10% for each application of Holy Vengeance or Blood Corruption on the target.
- Seal of Vengeance is available to all alliance paladins at level 64.
- Seal of Corruption is available to all horde paladins at level 66.
- This is the primary tanking seal and primary DPS seal for bosses or long fights.
Note* As of Patch 3.2, Seal of Blood has been removed.
- By itself it deals additional Holy damage equal to 28% of the damage of the attack on every hit but also backfire 10% of the damage to the paladin.
- When judged does X to Y damage but also backfire 33% of the damage to the paladin.
- Its overall damage is better than Seal of Command. It is the primary seal for retribution paladins, except during situations that the backfire damage would be dangerous.
- Seal of Blood is available to all horde paladins at level 64.
- Seal of Martyr is available to all alliance paladins at level 66.
Holy paladins are good healers in PvP because of their good survivability and various abilities to help other group members. Retribution paladins also perform very well in PvP because of their high burst damage and survivability.
On the other hand, there is no good protection spec for PvP. The reason is most of the damage of protection paladins depends on reflective damage, which means you are not going to do much damage in PvP except against very stupid rogues, fury warriors or enhancement shamans. Also, the healing is not as good as Holy paladins. Protection paladins still have use for (multi-)tanking bosses in Alterac Valley, holding flag in Warsong Gulch or Eye of the Storm, or defending bases in Arathi Basin (until help arrives or the offenders kill you eventually).