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WoW Guides: Paladin PvP Guide

Updated Mon, Sep 03, 2012 by Medeor

Outdated Content as of Patch 5.0.4






Time to get it on, PvP style.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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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Time to get it on, PvP style.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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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