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Paladin Crest.png
Available to

Holy Holy (healer)
Protection Protection (tank)
Retribution Retribution (melee DPS)

Primary attribute
Weapon skills
Armor type

Plate; can also equip Mail, Leather, Cloth.

Signature abilities
Classes Deathknight Demon hunter Druid Hunter Mage Monk Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
Starting a DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Tactics DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Class races DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Quests DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Abilities DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Trainers DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Armor sets DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Useful macros DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Class Halls DK DH Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
In all things, paladins must reflect the Light, which supplements our strength. To strive to be divine for one of our kind does not mean we strive for godhood--we strive to be good in all actions. Although called upon to smite evil in these harsh times, you must always remember that it's aiding others that will truly set you apart from the other citizens. Compassion, patience, bravery--these things mean as much to a paladin as strength in battle.
 [Tome of Divinity]

The paladin (often shortened to "pala" or "pally" by players) is a holy knight,[1] a hybrid class with the ability to play a variety of different roles — healing (holy), tanking (protection), and DPS (retribution). They have blessings that provide useful buffs for other players while withstanding heavy physical damage with plate armor and strong defensive abilities.

  • Through the holy specialization, paladins are able to empower their healing even further. The holy spec's most important talent, [Beacon of Light], allows a varying amount, depending on the Heal used, of a Paladin's heals to be mirrored to the affected friendly target.
  • Protection paladins are excellent tanks. Through the use of a shield and the wearing of plate armor, they can mitigate quite a bit of physical damage. They also excel at tanking multiple mobs at the same time through the use of [Hammer of the Righteous], [Holy Wrath], and [Consecration].
  • Retribution paladins specialize in melee DPS and are able to increase their DPS by a considerable margin and fight several targets at a time with a good efficiency.

Class overview

Game guide

This is the call of the paladin: to protect the weak, to bring justice to the unjust, and to vanquish evil from the darkest corners of the world. These holy warriors are equipped with plate armor so they can confront the toughest of foes, and the blessing of the Light allows them to heal wounds and, in some cases, even restore life to the dead. Ready to serve, paladins can defend their allies with sword and shield, or they can wield massive two-handed weapons against their enemies. The Light grants paladins additional power against the undead and demons, ensuring that these profane beings corrupt the world no longer.

Paladins are not only zealots, but also guardians of the righteous, and they bestow blessings on those the Light would shine upon. The Light radiates from paladins, and worthy allies who stand near them are emboldened by its power.[2]

Creation screen description

Paladins do battle to protect the world from the forces of shadow. Powerful warriors in their own right, they can also call upon the Light to heal wounds, create shields of force, and incinerate evil creatures. Although paladins were once exclusively human, a number of stout-hearted dwarves have recently been welcomed into the Order of the Silver Hand.[3]

Paladins are champions who call upon the Light to heal wounds and combat evil. The draenei employed such holy warriors for millennia before arriving on Azeroth to find like-minded souls among the Alliance. Recently blood elves, too, began wielding paladin abilities. Yet these elves, having little in common with their counterparts, must bend the Light to their will. [4]

Paladins are heavily-armored fighters and defenders who use Holy magic to heal wounds and combat evil. They can focus on two-handed weapons, shields or healing.

Classic guide

Limited to the Alliance, Paladins are bastions of divine light, meting out justice with magic and might.[5]


The first paladins may have been draenei, who were introduced to the Light by the Naaru after fleeing their home planet of Argus.

Zandalari troll prelates are paladins who worship the loa Rezan.

Second War

Death knights versus paladins in the Second War.
WC2BnE-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness or its expansion Beyond the Dark Portal.
Main article: Paladin (Warcraft II)

Founded during the Second War, the paladins were a holy order of warriors whose purpose was to defend and shepherd the war-torn populace of Lordaeron. The Archbishop Alonsus Faol had perceived that the pious Clerics of Northshire, who had suffered such terrible attrition in the First War, were ill-suited for the dangers of combat. Along with many of the surviving Clerics of Northshire, he sought those of only the greatest virtue among the knighthood of Lordaeron and tutored them in the ways of magic. Led by the crusading Uther the Lightbringer, it now rested upon the new paladins - christened the Knights of the Silver Hand - to heal the wounds sustained in combat and to restore faith in the promise of freedom from orcish tyranny.[6]

Paladins were also known to minister to the masses during the war, gathering inside churches to deepen their faith. Through meditating, communing and tithing at these sanctified sites, they discovered new ways to channel their healing and spiritual powers.[7]

Third War

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.
Main article: Paladin (Warcraft III)

Although the paladins were once loved and revered throughout the lands of Lordaeron, by the time of the Third War, they had since fallen into hard times. The entire Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded for refusing to kill innocent townsfolk who were believed to be contaminated by the dreaded Undead plague. Disenfranchised and driven from their former homes, the paladins still worked selflessly to protect humanity from the gnawing jaws of evil.[8]

Many paladins traveled to quarantined lands to ease the suffering of those left within the plague-ridden colonies, but although the paladins were immune to disease of any kind, they were persecuted by the general populace who believed that they had been infected by the foul plague. Some of these paladins traveled to Northrend. When they finally reached Ner'zhul's icy fortress, embittered by the trials they had to suffer through, they had become dark and brooding. The Lich King offered them untold power in exchange for their services and loyalty, and they accepted to become death knights to his service.[9]

World of Warcraft

Member of the reformed Knights of the Silver Hand.
WoW Icon update.png This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

The humans of Stormwind and the dwarves of Ironforge train their own paladins and consider themselves Knights of the Silver Hand. The human paladins spread their order to the dwarves of Ironforge.[10][11]

The paladins who remained in Lordaeron continued to fight against the Scourge. The Scarlet Crusade evolved from the Knights of the Silver Hand dedicated to the eradication of the undead from Lordaeron, the Forsaken and Scourge.[12] However, there were those who believed that the zealous and fanatic Crusade had fallen from their once-noble purpose, and left to form their own order, the Argent Dawn.

The Hand of Argus is a order of draenei paladins and vindicators based in the Azuremyst Isles.

The Blood Knights are a order of blood elf paladins formed by sapping Light energy from the captive naaru M'uru, once the Sunwell was restored in the wake of Kil'jaeden's defeat the Blood Knights channel their power directly from the Sunwell.

Tirion Fordring restored the original order of the Silver Hand in Lordaeron, which later merges with the Argent Dawn to form the Argent Crusade.

The Sunwalkers are an order of tauren paladin, who recently learned to use the power of the sun, much as druids use the power of the moon, to wield the Light and become paladins.

During the third invasion of the Burning Legion and after the defeat of the Argent Crusade in the Battle for the Broken Shore, the Silver Hand was formally reestablished and supported by each major paladin order on Azeroth.

Tyr's Guard is a secret order sworn to protect the tomb in Tyr's Fall who learned how to wield the Holy Light, and they became mighty paladins.

Lightforged draenei of the Army of the Light many of who are paladins fought against the Legion during the Argus Campaign and after the defeat of the Burning Legion ended up joining the Alliance.

Code of conduct

As "warriors of the Holy Light", paladins uphold all that is good and true in the world and revile all that is evil and sinister — especially undead and the Burning Legion. They offer assistance to the beleaguered and smite their enemies with holy fervor. Found in almost every corner of Azeroth fighting the forces of evil and barbarism, these stalwart, zealous warriors ceaselessly maintain their vigil. Paladins are the embodiment of good and selfless dedication to the protection of their peoples. Their passion and fearsome resolve can lead them astray, however. Most notably, the Scarlet Crusade, a faction of paladins and priests who broke away from the the Knights of the Silver Hand, took their commitment to eradicating the Scourge so far that they turned on their former allies, suspecting anyone whom they believed carried the "taint" of the undeath.[13]

Paladins don't always have to work within good or neutral organizations, as seen by the Scarlet Crusade and others — however, they do have to believe they are working for good organizations or have faith that their cause is good and just. A paladin can be evil (as illustrated by Renault Mograine and Arthas before he took up Frostmourne), but as long as they believe their cause to be just, the Light will continue to serve them because wielding the Light is a matter of willpower and faith in one's own ability to do it.[13] Since he felt conflicted, Arthas's ability to use the Light began to wane after he culled Stratholme. He perceived this as the Light choosing to abandon him, which weakened his faith in it further.[14]

Similarly, the Light cannot be forcibly stripped from a paladin that personally conducts himself in an honorable manner. When Tirion Fordring defended the orc Eitrigg from his fellow humans, he was banished from the Order of the Silver Hand, and a ceremony was performed by Uther the Lightbringer to strip him of his power. However, the ceremony failed, and while Tirion accepted his sentence of exile, he retained his paladin powers.


The tomb of Uther the Lightbringer, first of the human paladins.
See also: List of paladins
Name Role Affiliation Status Location
Alliance  Uther the Lightbringer First human paladin, leader of the Knights of the Silver Hand, mentor of Arthas Alliance of Lordaeron, Kingdom of Lordaeron, Knights of the Silver Hand Deceased Various
Alliance  Turalyon High Exarch of the Army of the Light Alliance, Army of the Light, Knights of the Silver Hand Alive Various
Alliance  Gavinrad One of the first five paladins of the Silver Hand Alliance of Lordaeron, Kingdom of Lordaeron, Knights of the Silver Hand Deceased Unknown
Alliance  Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker Leader of the paladins in Stormwind City Stormwind, Knights of the Silver Hand Alive Various
Alliance  Vindicator Maraad Paladin representative on the New Council of Tirisfal, military leader in Draenor Exodar, Valiance Expedition, New Council of Tirisfal Deceased Various
Neutral  Yrel High Exarch of the Lightbound Lightbound, Council of Exarchs Alive Various
Horde  Lady Liadrin Matriarch of the Blood Knights Silvermoon City, Blood Knights, Shattered Sun Offensive Alive Various
Horde  Aponi Brightmane Founder and leader of the Sunwalkers Thunder Bluff, Sunwalkers Alive Various
Horde  Sunwalker Dezco Chieftain of the Dawnchaser tribe Dawnchaser tribe, Thunder Bluff Alive Various
Neutral   Arthas Menethil Former Lich King of the Scourge, former crown prince of Lordaeron Scourge Deceased Various
Neutral  Alexandros Mograine Original wielder of the Ashbringer, former Knight of the Silver Hand Scourge Deceased Various
Neutral   Bolvar Fordragon Lich King of the Scourge, former regent of Stormwind Scourge Active Icecrown Citadel
Mob  Saidan Dathrohan Grand Crusader of the Scarlet Crusade Scarlet Crusade Deceased Scarlet Bastion, Stratholme
Neutral  Tirion Fordring Highlord of the Argent Crusade, wielder of the Ashbringer Argent Crusade, Ashen Verdict Deceased Various
Horde  High Prelate Rata Leader of the Rastari prelates and member of the Zanchuli Council Rastari, Zandalari Empire Alive Chamber of Rezan, Dazar'alor


Blood elf paladins.
Main article: Paladin races

The paladin class can be played by the following races:

Strength Agility Stamina Intellect Spirit Armor Health Mana
Alliance Alliance DraeneiDraenei Draenei The Burning Crusade 23 17 22 20 23 34 58 80
DwarfDwarf Dwarf WoW Icon update.png 27 16 23 19 20 32 68 79
HumanHuman Human WoW Icon update.png 22 20 22 20 21 40 58 80
Lightforged draeneiLightforged draenei Lightforged Legion N/A
Dark Iron dwarfDark Iron dwarf Dark Iron Battle for Azeroth N/A
Horde Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf The Burning Crusade 19 22 22 23 19 44 58 125
TaurenTauren Tauren Cataclysm 27 15 24 15 23 24 71 76
Zandalari trollZandalari troll Zandalari Battle for Azeroth N/A

Blood elf paladins belong to the Order of Blood Knights, while human and dwarven paladins are usually from the Knights of the Silver Hand. Draenei paladins are members of an organization called the Hand of Argus. Lightforged draenei paladins are members of the Army of the Light, an army created to end the Legion's burning crusade.

Tauren paladins are called Sunwalkers. Aponi Brightmane, an NPC on The Elder Rise in Thunder Bluff, is believed to have been the first in-game tauren paladin. She has a conversation with Tahu Sagewind about how the tauren have only been worshiping the moon, while both the sun and the moon are the eyes of the Earthmother, making them both equally sacred. This new belief made the tauren able to draw powers from the sun as the druid can draw power from the moon.

Racial mounts

Each paladin order has a different mount.


For a full list of specialization abilities, see Paladin abilities


Paladin preview Holy.jpg
Spell holy holybolt.png

Invokes the power of the Light to protect and to heal.

Holy paladins have devoted themselves to healing, with powerful specializations including [Beacon of Light] and [Light of Dawn]. With their plate armor, Holy paladins are some of the toughest healers in the game. When they need to deal damage, they have access to both ranged and melee Holy attacks like [Holy Shock] and [Crusader Strike].

Like priests who serve the Light, holy paladins are devout in their faith. After spending much of their lives in hallowed halls studying divine doctrine, those who pledge themselves to a holy order become beacons of the Light for their allies in conflict, taking up the heavy armor and weaponry of justice. Holding the unwavering belief that any battle waged to eradicate evil in the world is righteous, these paladins stands on the frontlines in service to all others dedicated to the cause. The truth and virtue of the Light imbues these sacred knights with the power to revitalize their comrades. If necessary, they even lay down their own lives to serve as a martyr for the greater good.[15]


Paladin preview Protection.jpg
Ability paladin shieldofthetemplar.png

Uses Holy magic to shield <himself/herself> and defend allies from attackers.

Through the Protection spec, paladins gain an increased ability to tank enemies. Paladins are especially well known for their ability to tank many enemies at once with rapid threat production. Strong stamina scaling, simple and very high threat generation and the superb [Ardent Defender] ability make paladins powerful tanks. With plate armor, shields and an array of powerful self-healing and defensive options, Protection paladins are often hard to defeat even without a healer by their side.

The paladin’s tools of war lay bare their motivations. Clenched in one hand is the weapon, a deadly device for exacting righteous judgment. Locked in the other hand is the shield, a symbolic and literal barrier protecting good from evil. Stalwart and steadfast, these protectors are ardent defenders of the Light and all that it touches, and are rejuvenated by its radiance in return. So dedicated they are to their cause that they consecrate the very ground upon which they battle corruption.[15]


"Retribution" redirects here. For the paladin ability, see [Retribution].
Paladin preview Retribution.jpg
Spell holy auraoflight.png

A righteous crusader who judges and punishes opponents with weapons and Holy magic.

Retribution paladins favor slow two handed weapons, causing sudden damage spikes through both melee and spell crits. They favor single-target attacks like [Crusader Strike] and [Blade of Justice] to build Holy Power, powering regular use of [Templar's Verdict], or [Divine Storm] for AoE. In PvP, Retribution paladins can be very effective off-healers, but have poor mobility. Retribution paladins can use powerful augments like [Avenging Wrath] to buff their damage output.

To serve as instrument of the Light is to hold an unshakable faith. Oftentimes the most dedicated paladins become fanatical in their devotion, instruments of retribution against those who dare defy the laws of the divine. These paladins are vengeful guardians of the weak—crusaders judging and punishing the wicked. Their resolute conviction in the divine order of all things assures them that victory is inevitable—but they will fight to the end to ensure that the Light prevails.[15]

Holy Power

Paladin Holy Power UI.jpg
Main article: Holy Power

In addition to the mana used by all paladins, Retribution paladins have a unique resource system called Holy Power. Similar to the rogue's combo points, Holy Power is gained by using various abilities, such as [Crusader Strike] and [Blade of Justice], while being consumed by spells such as [Templar's Verdict] and [Divine Storm]. Up to 5 Holy Power can be stored. Holy Power does not decay until 30 seconds out of combat.


A human paladin model as originally seen on the official World of Warcraft website.
See also: Paladin sets

Paladins can wear cloth, leather, mail or plate armor and may use a shield. They can use polearms and one or two handed swords, axes and maces.

Paladins cannot dual wield, or wield daggers, fist weapons or staves. They also cannot use ranged weapons. They have no spammable ranged attacks, but can use [Avenger's Shield] (if Protection), or [Holy Shock] (if Holy).

They can summon their own Warhorse at level 20, and the Paladin will automatically learn Apprentice Riding. The epic Charger is acquired automatically at level 40, and is ridable, however does not give the benefit of 100% movement speed boost until Journeyman Riding is learned.

Lore-wise, paladins are often depicted wielding large, often two-handed warhammers. The "paladin hammer", in addition to the book of incantations paladins often carry, are perhaps the most characteristic features of a paladin. Some hammers are even known to have names, such as Arthas Menethil's  [Light's Vengeance] and Uther the Lightbringer's Hammer of the Lightbringer. The paladin hammer became the iconic paladin weapon under Uther, but fell out of favor after his death.[citation needed]  Draenei paladins also tend to prefer their own two-handed hammers, a Light-blessed crystalline weapon known as the  [Hammer of the Naaru]. Blood elf paladins seem to prefer polearms instead.


Paladin with Divine Shield.
Main article: Paladin abilities

Paladins play a key role by buffing their allies . However, they also have a few other handy spells and abilities in their arsenal.

Paladin talents increase their ability to heal the wounded, strengthen their capacity to protect their companions, and allow them to deal out vicious damage in the name of justice.


Main article: Blessing

Blessings are spell buffs that can be cast on party and raid members. Blessings are derived from previous Hands, and includes [Blessing of Freedom], [Blessing of Protection], and [Blessing of Sacrifice].

Greater Blessings

Main article: Blessing

As of patch 7.0.3 Blessings have been consolidated into three buffs – [Greater Blessing of Kings], [Greater Blessing of Might] and [Greater Blessing of Wisdom] – that each have a 60 minute duration. Unlike their previous incarnations, these Greater Blessings are no longer multi target.

Crowd control

Paladins have regular access to spell interruption through [Rebuke] and [Hammer of Justice], as well as talents including [Repentance] and [Blinding Light].


Paladin stats vary by role. Secondary stats can be optionally obtained after primary stats have been met.

Holy Protection Retribution
Stat priority
  1. Intellect
  2. Mastery
  3. Critical Strike
  4. Versatility
  5. Leech
  6. Haste
  7. Avoidance
  1. Armor
  2. Leech
  3. Avoidance
  4. Versatility
  5. Mastery
  6. Haste
  7. Critical Strike
  8. Stamina
  9. Strength
  1. Haste
  2. Strength
  3. Critical Strike
  4. Versatility
  5. Mastery
  6. Leech
  7. Avoidance


In PvP, the paladin's most well-known strength is his/her ability to outlast his opponent(s). With plate armor, their ability to heal themselves and allies, and a near-complete invulnerability every few minutes, they are a hard target to take down. Paladins can also do a surprising amount of burst-damage and have good access to stun abilities. Paladins also make great supporting characters, buffing and healing team-mates while being able to survive the enemy's attention. Paladins are particularly vulnerable to [Silence] and Interrupt effects, as all of a paladin's abilities are part of a single magic school (Holy). In addition, dispel effects are powerful against paladins.

In the RPG

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

A paladin must be good and will lose all Light-given abilities if he ever willingly commits an evil act. Additionally, the paladin's code requires that he respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use their help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents. While he may adventure with others from different organizations, a paladin will never knowingly associate with evil persons, nor will he continue an association with someone who consistently offends his moral code. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers or cohorts whose intentions are good. A paladin who violates this code, becomes an ex-paladin, and loses all Light-given abilities until he atones for his violations.[16][17]


  • Their description during the Warcraft III alpha was as such: "The noble warriors of humanity employ both a strong military and powerful magics in the defense of their kingdoms. Bestowed with the ancient arms and armor of their forefathers, they wander from town to town righting the wrongs of society. Although the Alliance has all but fallen apart, these valiant warriors have once again taken up steel against the enemies of humanity."[18]
  • Some paladins are known to change their name after being knighted, with the example of Davil Crokford who became known as Davil Lightfire.
  • Several paladins are depicted with golden eyes glowing with the Light, such as the Paladin and Turalyon units in Warcraft II, also seen with the paladin on the Divine Favor TCG Card. All Lightforged draenei have Light-infused eyes even though they are not all paladins. Since Battle for Azeroth, golden eyes are also an option for blood elves. Lady Liadrin and her paladins have them.
  • According to Chris Metzen, the "heart and soul" of the Marvel Comics superhero Captain America was particularly influential in developing the "true vibe" of Warcraft paladins.[19] The Protection ability [Avenger's Shield][19] and the talent [First Avenger] are explicit references to Captain America and his famous shield.
  • Seals were self-buffs, permanent until changed, turned off or the Paladin switches specialization, which boost the power of the Paladin's melee attacks. Effectively, they added a weapon proc to their melee strikes. Previously, Paladins could unleash these seals upon an enemy using [Judgment], causing holy damage and causing an effect depending on which seal was used. The Paladin needed to have a Seal active to use Judgment.
  • Paladins had several anti-undead and demon abilities such as [Exorcism], [Holy Wrath], and [Turn Evil] which made them very effective when fighting Demon and Undead targets (not including Forsaken players, who are considered Humanoids for balance reasons). [Exorcism] and [Holy Wrath] work against all targets, but had additional mechanics when dealing with undead and demon.
  • In Hearthstone: Rastakhan's Rumble's Rumble Run the player character is Rikkar a jungle troll who can be a paladin. A New Challenger... is a collectable card that also has what could be a jungle troll paladin.
  • In Hearthstone: Rise of Shadows Commander Rhyssa appears to be a gnome paladin, even sporting a unique mechanostrider mount.
  • Lightfang Enforcer is a worgen paladin in Hearthstone Battlegrounds.[20]






Patch changes

  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Now begins with plate armor at level 1 instead of mail armor.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28):
    • Paladins can now store up to 5 Holy Power at a time at higher levels, but still can only use up to 3 on each Holy Power spender.
    • Auras have been removed from the game.
    • Seals now works as "stances" instead of being a timed buff, which makes them persist through death.
    • Relics have been removed from the game.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12):
    • Paladins now have a new resource, Holy Power, which works similarly to combo points.
    • Greater Blessings have been removed. Regular Blessings now have the same mass effect without the need for a reagent.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): All Auras now affect all party and raid members within the area of effect.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.0.1 (2006-12-05): With the introduction of the blood elves, paladins are now playable by both the Alliance and the Horde.

See also


External links