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Paladin Level 85 Reference Guide

Updated Mon, Feb 14, 2011 by Messiah

Paladin Level 85 builds, stats, enhancements, and more

Many players now end up racing through the game, leveling like mad using whatever happens to be the easiest spec to level with for their class and only once they hit level 85 switch over to what spec they really want to play.  The Paladin class is a perfect example of a class that fits this kind of play, since most players level as Retribution since it kills enemies so much faster than either of the other options.  Once at or near max level they then switch to either a tank of healing build to play end game content with.  Even if you stay as retribution though, there are differences from a levelling build and a final build.

Furthermore as you level a character, gear changes drastically in quality and you tend to just grab the newest highest item level piece.  Once you are at max level though there are additional stats to consider that just were not important while levelling.  Also, since at max level you are probably going to group with other players more, there are minimum expectations on everyone, since you will now be 1/5th of a group and owe a certain level of ability to the other players in the group, which is kind of an unwritten social contract in an MMOG that when you join a group you are at least competent to a certain degree.

Therefore this guide is laid out as sort of a quick list of things that are expected of a Paladin of any type as a level 85 just starting to group.  It covers standard builds, stats, enchants, glyphs, and more.


Paladin Builds

Each talent tree has certain abilities that are considered core talents that everyone that selects that role is assumed to have.  Each tree also has additional talents that are optional to pick between, some focus on survivability, some focus on PVP, some on utility.  Depending on how you play some are more or less useful for you.  Until you decide what exactly you like and don’t like, and decide how you want to play it is best to use some “cookie-cutter” type builds. 

These are builds that are fairly standard and have been worked out by many of the class experts around, and by the players that love to crunch the numbers and find the theoretical best abilities.  Keep in mind, however, that with anything in the game, the “theoretical best” is not always the best.  Many times, the theoretical best requires perfect latency, rotations, positions, and timings, any little thing falling out of perfection wrecks the best, and potentially pushes a less optimal build, ability, rotation into a higher ranking.

Retribution 7/2/32 Cookie Cutter

  • This build is a basic DPS build.  Please note that really the second point can be taken from Eye for an Eye and moved anywhere you would like, it is a spare point.

Protection0/34/7 Cookie Cutter

  • This build is a strong basic build that will let you run instances, generate lots of threat, and protect the group with Divine Guardian and to do some solid self healing.

Holy33/3/5 Cookie Cutter

  • This build forms the basic Paladin PVE Healing build.  It also grabs extended range on judgements from the Retribution tree so that you can keep them applied at range.

Paladin Stats

Since Paladins have three very different specs as Healer, Melee DPS, and Tank, they have vastly different stat requirements from one spec to another.  This chart provides a rough idea of where you want to be as a minimum before grouping with other players and starting to fulfil your role in a group. 

 

Retribution

Protection

Holy

Health

95,000

120,000

95,000

Mana

n/a

n/a

70,000

Strength

3500

n/a

n/a

Intellect

n/a

n/a

3500

Spirit

n/a

n/a

1250

Spell Power

n/a

n/a

5000

Hit

5% (8% for Raids)

5% (8% for raids)

n/a

Crit

10%

n/a

10%

Expertise

26 rating

26 rating

n/a

Haste

n/a

n/a

5%

Mastery

10 rating

10 rating

10 rating

Dodge

n/a

10%

n/a

Parry

n/a

10%

n/a

Block

n/a

20%

n/a

Keep in mind though, that these are just basic un-buffed starting stats for doing level 85 content.  You will need to ramp these up significantly before trying to do heroics or raiding.  In some cases this ramp up is very significant.  For example as a protection paladin you will want at least 145,000 health unbuffed before raiding, as a holy Paladin you will want at least 2,000 spirit, as retribution you want to be hit and expertise capped, and many more little things.  While ilevel will keep you out of heroics for a while, even when you hit the required item level to get in, you are probably not ready, you should keep going to normal instances and get some more gear there and from reputation vendors.


Paladin End Game Stat Priority

Now you know what you should be aiming for as some basic goals, but which are more important that the others?  Sure, you could meet the crit goal on a retribution paladin, but that means not meeting the hit goal, so which is more important?  This little chart provides the order in which you should worry about your stats.

  • Retribution = Strength >>> Hit > Expertise > Crit > Mastery > Haste
  • Protection = Stamina > Mastery > Dodge / Parry > Hit > Expertise
  • Holy = Intellect > Spell power > Haste > Crit > Mastery > Spirit

Enchants

Now you have the build, gear, and understand your stat priority.  How about enchanting your gear though? Which enchant is the best for each slot for each spec, when starting out?  Glad you asked, this list shows the enchants that you should aim for when gearing up.  It keeps it fairly cheap by not going for the ultra high end weapon enchants, leg enchants, and staying with the lower rep shoulder enchants.  Thee higher end ones are only really required once you get into heroics and raids.

 

Retribution

Protection

Holy

Head

+60 Strength / +35 Mastery

+90 Stamina / +35 Dodge

+60 Intellect / +35 Crit

Back

+65 Crit

+250 Armor

+50 Intellect

Shoulders

+30 Strength / + 20 Crit

+45 Stamina / +20 Dodge

+30 Intellect / +20 Haste

Chest

+15 Stats

+15 Stats

+15 Stats

Wrists

+50 Crit

+50 Dodge

+65 Haste

Gloves

+50 Strength

+65 Mastery

+50 Haste

Waist

Belt Buckle

Belt Buckle

Belt Buckle

Legs

+110 Attack Power / +45 Crit

+85 Stamina / +45 Agility

+55 Intellect / +45 Spirit

Feet

+50 Hit

+50 Mastery

+50 Haste

Weapon

Hurricane

+25 Hit / +25 Crit

Heartsong

Shield

n/a

+40 Block

+40 Intellect

We also have guides on general enchanting, gemming, and item enhancement based on your role that you can check out here:


Gems

Now that your gear is all enchanted, what gems should you put into any of the sockets that you have?  Looking at fresh level 85 gear, you probably don’t have that many sockets and the socket bonuses are generally not that great.  Therefore you can follow a very simple guide:

Retribution:

  • Your meta of choice should be the +54 Strength / +3% critical hit damage (Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond). 
  • Fill all sockets with +40 Strength Red Gems (Bold Inferno Ruby) unless the socket bonus is at least +20 strength.
  • If the socket bonus warrants it, then fill blue sockets with +20 Strength / +20 Hit gems (Etched Demons Eye) and yellow sockets with +20 Strength / +20 Mastery gems (Skilful Ember Topaz).

Holy:

  • Your meta of choice should be the +54 Intellect / +2% max mana (Ember Shadowspirit Diamond). 
  • Fill all sockets with +40 Intellect Red Gems (Brilliant Inferno Ruby) unless the socket bonus is at least +20 Intellect.
  • If the socket bonus warrants it fill blue sockets +20 Intellect / +20 Spirit gems (Purified Demonseye) with and yellow sockets with +20 Intellect / +20 Haste gems (Reckless ember Topaz).

Protection:

  • Your meta of choice should be the +81 Stamina / +2% armor from items (Austere Shadowspirit Diamond). 
  • Fill all other sockets with  +60 Stamina Blue Gems (Solid Ocean Sapphire) unless the socket bonus is at least +30 Stamina or +20 Mastery.
  • If the socket bonus warrants it fill all yellow sockets with +20 Mastery / +30 Stamina gems (Puissant Dream Emerald) and all red sockets with +20 Parry / +30 Stamina gems (Defender’s Demonseye).

Reforging

Now that you have all of your gear and it is enchanted and gemmed, it is time to reforge it. Since at this point all of your gear should only have stats that you need, it is just a matter of prioritizing it and reforging to your best available stat that is not currently on the item.  To do that we basically take the priotity chart from earlier and reverse it. 

Take the stats starting at the beginning of the list and reforge it to the stat farthest down the list as possible.

  • Retribution = Haste - Mastery - Crit - Expertise to 26 rating - Hit to 5% (8% for Raiding)
  • Protection = Expertise to 26 rating - Hit to 5% (8% for raiding) - Dodge / Parry - Mastery
  • Holy = Spirit - Mastery - Crit - Haste

Glyphs

Lastly we’ll look at which glyphs are best for which spec as a Paladin. This chart helps show which are the best.

 

Retribution

Protection

Holy

Prime Glyphs

Crusader Strike, Exorcism, Judgement, Seal of Truth (if not expertise capped without it)

Hammer of the Righteous, Seal of Truth, Shield of the Righteous

Glyph of Divine Favor, Glype of Seal of Insight, Glyph of Holy Shock

Major Glyphs

Consecration, Holy Wrath, Hammer of Wrath

Holy Wrath, Lay on Hands, Dazing Shield

Light of Dawn, Divinity, Lay on Hands

Minor Glyphs

Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might, Insight

Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might, Insight

Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might, Insight


Click here to go back to the: Main Paladin Guide Page


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