What are Paladin Seals?
Seals are a form of self-buff that Paladins can cast on themselves. These seals boost the Paladins power for a relatively long time, staying active for 30 minutes. There are four different Paladin Seals, and each Seal grants a different bonus to the Paladins melee attacks.
In addition to the melee based bonuses that Paladin Seals grant, they also allow you to use your judgement ability to cause additional damage to the target and apply an additional effect based on the seal that the Paladin used. A Paladin may only have one active seal at a time, when they cast another deal it replaces any currently active seal.
What Seals are there for Paladins and what do they do?
Seal of Righteousness
This is the seal that a Paladin learns first, being able to train for it at level 3. This seal causes every single-target melee attack to inflict extra damage in the form of Holy damage.
The Seal of Righteousness deals Holy damage equal to: (Weapon Speed * (1.1% AP + 2.2% SP))
When Judged it deals Holy damage equal to: (1 + 20% AP + 32% SP)
Seal of Insight
This seal grants every melee attack a chance to heal the paladin for a small amount and to restore 4% of your base mana. This allows Paladins to regain both health and mana while fighting in many situations.
In addition when this seal is judged on a target it deals holy damage and restores 15% of your base mana.
The Seal of Insights healing per strike is equal to: (15% AP + 15% SP)
When Judged it deals Holy damage equal to: (1 + 16% AP + 25% SP)
Seal of Truth
When this seal is used attacks cause a DOT (Damage Over Time) effect, called Censure, to be placed on the target. This DOT deals Holy damage to the enemy over the next 15 seconds. In addition the DOT can stack up to 5 times on the target.
When this seal is judged on a target it deals Holy damage, which is increased by 10% per Censure DOT on the target.
The Seal of Truth deals damage equal to: (Weapon Damage * 1.8% * # of Censure Stacks)
Each Censure DOT deals Holy damage equal to: ((1% SP * 1.93% AP) *5 * 100) / 100)
When Judged it deals Holy damage equal to: (1 + 14.2% AP + 22.3% SP) * 10% per Censure Stack
Seal of Justice
This seal causes each single-target melee attack to inflict holy damage to the target and to limit the targets movement speed for 5 seconds. This makes it more difficult for enemies to escape your reach as they will not be able to sprint away.
When this seal is judged on an enemy in causes holy damage.
The Seal of Justice deals Holy damage equal to: (Weapon Speed * (0.5% AP + 1% SP))
When Judged it deals Holy damage equal to: (1 + 16% AP + 25% SP)
Which Paladin Seal is best for each situation?
Best Paladin Tanking Seal
The best seal for Paladin tanks is the Seal of Truth. This is due both the damage it causes and the bonuses that you can get from Glyphs.
Starting with the damage caused, the Seal of Truth causes steady damage over time due to its DOT effect. This constant stream of Holy damage makes more sense for tanks since it means constant threat generation.
In addition to the damage that the seal causes, Paladin can glyph Seal of Truth to also grant 10 Expertise. Since you only need 26 expertise to reach the soft cap that pushes dodge off of a bosses hit chart.
Best Paladin DPS Seal
At this point you are probably asking yourself, What Paladin Seal should I use when I want to DPS? The answer to that really depends on the situation.
Seal of Truth is our best seal for damage against a single target that is going to stay up long enough to get to 5 stacks and still be alive. This means that when you are in instances and raids you will use in it most cases. Also as per the above tanking section, you can glyph it for an added 10 Expertise towards your 26 expertise soft cap.
So all of the above has to do with long living single target creatures, however when soloing most of your targets will be dead too quickly. Therefore, if you are fighting targets that die quickly then you are better off with your Seal of Righteousness since the damage would be ramped up quicker right off the start.
Lastly, if you are fighting multiple targets then the game changes just a bit more. As long as you have the talent Seals of Command, which you should since it ups your overall damage, then Seal of Righteousness is the winner again. The Seals of Command talent allows your Seal of Righteousness to affect up to 3 targets rather than just one, giving us a cleave type ability that significantly ramps up our damage output.
Best Paladin Healing Seal
For Holy Paladins your best seal will almost always be Seal of Insight. This is because it allows you to cause a little bit of damage when required, but more importantly it gives you both mana and health back. The health is not generally an issue, but the mana is critical since is restores so much mana back whenever you judge it. Also since you can judge it at distance with just a few points into your Retribution Tree to get Improved Judgement it makes it easy to sit back and get mana back while healing.
Best Paladin PvP Seal
Know onto PvP situations, which Paladin seal is best when you are battling it out in the Battlegrounds or Arenas?
There are a few seals that should be used by a Paladin when in PVP. First the simple one, when you are healing in Holy spec then the best seal will almost always be Seal of Insight. This is because you will want any mana back that you can get and you will not being doing much damage so any difference in damage output will not be noticeable.
When you are DPS in a PVP situation it is a little more complicated. In PVP as DPS you will likely be swapping between multiple seals. When you have a chance to stay on a single target for a length of time the Seal of Truth is the best since is does the highest damage over a period of time, once it has 5 stacks of its DOT up on the target.
When you are required to switch between targets quickly then Seal of Righteousness is the best seal for Paladins since it allows full DPS at any given time with no warm up time.
Lastly, when you are fighting an opponent that is trying to escape, and if you have no help from partners or teammates in slowing them down, then Seal of Justice becomes the best seal due to its slowing effect.
Paladin Seal Overview
As you can see getting the most out of your Seals as a Paladin involves knowing the situation and assessing which is best at that time. This is largely determined by your talent spec and what kind of content you are playing in, PvP or PvE.
While many Paladins put only one Seal on their toolbar and stick with it forever, if you want to master the class you should really get used to all of them. Even though in most situations there is only one best seal, you should be ready to change as required. For example when over geared for some instances as a Paladin Tank and when threat isnt an issue sometimes you have to break out your Seal of Insight to insure you have enough mana coming back in to use abilities.
Keep your options open at all times, and remember to switch as required.
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