Outdated Content as of Patch 5.0.4




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style="">Time to get it on,
PvP style.

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When
you’re tired of beating up the Blizzard-created AI
opponents and you want to tap into your competitive side, the Paladin
is an
excellent choice.
Looking at the current arena tournament shows that
Paladins
are indeed a welcome addition to the 2v2, 3v3 or 5v5 teams (there are
active
Paladins on 6 of the top 10 Arena tournament teams). If bigger
battlegrounds
are your thing, the Paladin is a feared opponent.
Holy Paladins are
very
difficult to bring down and Retribution Paladins have enough burst
damage to
send opponents to the graveyards in short order. Regardless of how you
enjoy
playing, the Paladin can venture into PvP territory with confidence.

style="">Talent Spec Matters,
How do you want to play?

It is
fairly well documented (with blue posts confirming)
that the Holy Paladin is one of the best (if not the best) healers for
Arena
teams. The href="http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/paladin/talents.html?tal=503220503001320531025012511403203223000000000000000000000000000000000000000000">pre-eminent
Arena build currently is the 51
point Holy and 20
point Protection
build. With fast heals, lots of crits and enough armor to
take
beating, the Holy Paladin can really bring a lot to the arenas. The
hybrid build
gets great armor boosts from the Protection tree and decreases the stun
cool
down. Lots of good PvP tricks to use in this build.

Retribution
Paladins can do a lot of damage in a very short
period of time. With instant cast Crusader Strike and Judgements, an
enemy’s
health can go away in a hurry. You will find most Ret Paladins out in
Battlegrounds zooming from place to place with Crusader Aura and then
smacking
down opponents in a blast of light.

The
lone spec not tailor made for PvP is the full Protection
Paladin. It can be done (and some enjoy it), but for the most part the
name of
the game in PvP is either adding to someone’s health pool
(friend) or taking it
away (enemy). Soaking up damage without any kind of real payback
doesn’t
typically provide for a fun long term PvP experience.

style="">Where do you want to
get your PvP on?

If you
are planning on tackling arenas, you would be joining
the legions of healing Paladins currently occupying top spots in both
the
seasonal brackets and tournament realms. Retribution is a viable option
as
well, but more times than not the Paladin will be called upon to bring
the
amazing healing options suited for arenas. In small group skirmishes, a
healer
that has twenty thousand hit points and wearing plate armor is very
attractive
(yes, hubba hubba).

In
open field combat such as the battlegrounds, the
Retribution Paladin can have all kinds of fun. Between multiple stun
options
(Repentance and Hammer of Justice), instant cast damage, and healing,
the
various battlegrounds can offer hundreds of hours of fun. Holy Paladins
can
also do very well in open warfare for the reasons described above.

Which
Battlegrounds?

In
Warsong Gulch, a Paladin is a great caretaker of the flag
carrier. Keep the flag carrier moving by using Blessing of Freedom to
remove
snares, Cleanse to remove magic, poison and disease and of course stun
others
running after your flag carrier. An occasional heal on the carrier is
never a
bad idea either.

Protecting
Nodes in Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm and
Altarac Valley are great places for the paladin to shine. Being hard to
kill,
the Paladin can hold areas and support others to hold areas a lot
longer than
other classes. Keep those around you healed up between doling out your
own
damage and you can frustrate the heck out of opposing forces.

Strand
of the Ancients is the latest and greatest map added
to the Battlegrounds and it can be quite fun. It incorporates vehicles
into the
scenario and the goal is to either attack or defend a keep. These
larger
open-environments are a lot of fun. Again, the Paladin can play a
pivotal role
in helping secure or attack depending on how the character is played.
You can
run up front and be a wedge breaker by bringing a two handed weapon to
bear on
some poor clothy (spellcaster). Alternatively you can bring up the rear
and
heal other melee and spellcasters and they rain terror upon the enemies.

style="">Lake Wintergrasp

Released
with Wrath of the Lich King, Wintergrasp is similar
to Strand of the Ancients except that it takes up a whole zone. The
zone is automatically
PvP-flags if you fly in there. The fight starts every three hours and a
portal
will open in Dalaran to speed you on your way to battle. Once there,
you will
quickly see if you are defending or attacking. Either way, head to the
walls of
the keep and survey the land.

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Even
though the Paladin is a melee caster, most of the
fighting is up close and personal so you’ll have plenty of
opportunities to
smack down enemies with the light. Or choose to stay away from the fray
and
support someone who is acting like a wrecking ball. Standing off to the
side
where nobody is paying attention as you heal/cleanse/Hand of Freedom a
Death
Knight as he takes out enemy after enemy is quite satisfying. Rarely
are they
smart enough to look back and come after the healer and as long as you
keep
laying on the heals, the DK can trash dozens of other players.

style="">Is Gear that important
in PvP?

In a
word, yes. You’ll notice that most if not all
PvP-centric gear has a stat you won’t see on gear from
instances, namely
Resilience. Resilience is the character’s ability to shrug
off crits. The
higher a character’s resilience rating, the less damage
received from damage
off of melee and spell crits. Since most PvP players build their
characters to
max out their burst and crit damage, Resilience is key (some might call
it
“critical,” get it?). There are a couple of
interesting issues with PvP gear.
One, you can only get it through PvP (for the most part). So starting
out, you
won’t have PvP centered gear. Secondly, many players are
finding the PvE gear
better suited to the current balance of the classes. The moral of the
story is
that PvP can be done (successfully) in PvE gear these days. When the
patch 3.1
rolls out this may change, but for now we can respect and head right
into the
combat zones. So gear is important, but you can use high-end PvE gear
as well
as PvP gear now.

style="">Rewards

So why
go the battlegrounds? For now, the answer really lies
in player interest. PvP is the one competitive facet of the game that
can
really get your blood pumping. As for tangible rewards, they are
somewhat
there. The rewards for completing battlegrounds aren’t that
stellar. The honor
points can be used to pick up some of the gear (and definitely gems),
but in
reality they pale in comparison to what you can get through the
reputation and
PvE instances. Arenas on the other hand do provide some very nice
rewards. The
caveat there is that most of the gear requires specific personal
ratings to
attain the gear. If you have a bad record in the arenas, you
won’t get a high
enough rating
to acquire the gear, no matter how many you complete.

style="">So where do I start?

Easy
answer, anywhere you want to play. And you should try
them all. The fights are relatively short (especially the timed events
like
Wintergrasp and Strand of the Ancients).

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The
amount of fun you can
pack
into a
short time is wonderful in PvP. Unlike raiding that can take all night,
a
player can jump into many different PvP battlegrounds through the
course of an
evening and really get a lot of fighting in.

Just
remember that you
will be
using a lot of different abilities in PvP (did I mention stuns less
than 10
times?) so be ready to move your tool bars around for ease of use. Go
out there
and kick some booty and have some fun along the way. Remember though,
it’s just
a game. There is no need to get upset. Enjoy the victories and ignore
the
defeats. Most of all, just have fun.


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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

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