Outdated Content as of Patch 5.0.4
Soloing 1-40 | Soloing 41-60 | Soloing 61-80
Beat all that you can beat.
Blizzard provides every class with a variety of ways and
locations to play through the levels. The locations are starkly
different and the virtual toolbox is stuffed to the gills with spells
and abilities for players to use. Selecting the best places and
directions for your character will be up to you, but you’re
not alone. This guide will outline some of the options Paladins have
for starting their career in the land of Azeroth. There are two facets
to character progression; the location and the character. The locations
will be dictated by the level of the encounters whereas the player has
options for how the character will be played according to talents,
spells and gear.
Early in the game players are not assaulted with an inordinate amount
of spells and abilities. Heck, new Paladins start with three. Blizzard
does a good job of spacing out new skills to allow time to become
familiar with the mechanics before more and more are stacked onto the
action bars. Regardless of the starting point, there are some straight
forward battle strategies that will help in almost all situations.
Prepare for Battle
Paladins have three buff slots that should always be
active when preparing to enter battle; an Aura, a Seal and a Blessing.
Which type of each will depend on the adversary or conditions, but
these should always be active. In addition to the Paladin’s
own buff slots, there should always be at least one debuff applied to
the target from Judgements. It may sound complicated but it’s
not too bad. To better understand the three options, we’ll
discuss them individually.
Is that AXE Body Spray an
Auras are no-cost buffs that stay
active until changed (or until the character dies). All auras are
defensive except for the Retribution Aura received at level
16 which dishes damage back at the attackers. The default aura should
be Devotion Aura. Keep it active at
all times; it provides a nice armor buff without cost. There are times
to run with other Auras though too.
When leveling against mobs of similar level, I typically keep
Retribution Aura up unless I find myself having to stop and heal too
often (or run away bubbled!). Tanking is also a good time to keep
Retribution Aura up due to the threat it causes, unless the healer is
having a hard time keeping you healed – then you may switch
to Devotion to cut down on the damage.
Resistance Auras are great for situations where the enemies are using
fire, frost, or shadow damage. Remember that magic damage bypasses
armor so Devotion Aura does not help against fire/frost/shadow damage
Be Sure to Give Thanks
Second in duration, Blessings last for ten minutes as base
abilities but can be extended later through Greater versions of each
Seal it with a Kiss
Seals are a little more difficult to understand due to the
added element of judging the seals. Seals are an active buff
that provides some additional benefit during combat. The Seals can
appear daunting at first, but really there are only four up to level 40
and they are fairly straight forward.
If your health and mana bars are full and the target is not a runner,
then use Righteousness. If your mana bar is low, use Wisdom. You get
the idea. Paladins will use at least one seal per fight since they last
thirty minutes (as of Patch 3.0.9), but depending on how the fight progresses, it is wise to
change the active seal.
Don’t you judge
Judgements are different than many other class abilities
in the game. They require a Seal to be active prior to casting the
Judgement which then applies an additional debuff on the target. Unlike
Seals that will grant the Paladin additional benefits, Judgements grant
all attacking parties benefits. Depending on the best debuff for the
encounter, Paladins should apply the following Judgements.
Judgement of Light is the typical default judgement unless mana is low,
and then using Seal of Wisdom in conjunction with Judgement of Wisdom
will help the Paladin gain mana back as well as the rest of the party.
Time to rock and roll
The core battle spell rotation is fairly straight forward
until Paladins get into later levels. The Paladin is a support class
which doesn’t have that many direct damage rotations. The
support nature of the class provides some great ancillary options to
help out in almost any situation, but for flat out damage the choices
Battle rotation against
melee centric bad guys, these work of PvP and PvE:
Verify that Devotion or Retribution Aura, Blessing of
Might and Seal of Righteousness active prior to the fight. As the
distance closes, use Judgement of Light that will Judge Seal of
Righteousness causing instant damage and placing a debuff on the mob
replenishing the Paladin’s health periodically. After level
will also provide a
nice boost to damage especially if fighting multiple mobs. Consecration
is costly in mana so practice its use against mana consumption to find
a good balance.
Battle rotation against
casters (both PvP and PvE):
Casters don’t stand a chance
against a Paladin. If the spell type is known, then activate the
appropriate resistance Aura (frost, fire or shadow), verify that
blessing of Might is active and then cast Seal of Righteousness for
damage of Seal of Justice to get an occasional stun on the caster.
Stuns interrupt spell casting so use all stuns available. Use Judgement
of Justice (if lower than level 28, use Judgement of Light) for another
chance at a stun and then start swinging. When the caster tries to cast
use Hammer of Justice
to stun and
interrupt. If the Hammer is on cool down, use Arcane Torrent if you
happen to be a Blood Elf, or prepare to heal and make sure to use
Cleanse for any debuffs the spell may leave on your character. If it
all goes south, bubble up and heal and then get back into the fight. If
the caster places a movement debuff like Frost Nova, use Hand of Freedom
to free yourself
and get back in contact. Paladins have few ranged options so the key is
to get close and stay close to the caster wearing cloth.
Battle rotation against
those that run away:
Runners can really put a monkey wrench into an encounter
if not handled properly. The goal with runners is to keep the target
stunned as long as possible and then have Hammer of Justice available
when the target starts to turn tail and run. Runners typically try to
escape when they are below 50% health so keep an eye on them when the
health bar starts getting low. Many runners have a snare effect like a
net or frost nova, so be ready with the Hand of Freedom so you can
chase them down if needed.
Practice with the rotations, getting a feel for the length of the
encounters and how often to judge seals or change seals mid-fight is
paramount to playing a Paladin to the fullest. Played well, a Paladin
has almost no downtime during a fight.
Key Stop-Overs while
There are only a few Paladin specific quests but they are
important. The first one (outside of learning to become a Paladin at
level 1) starts at level 12 for all races (that can be
Paladins). Each race has a slightly different variation, but
the quest starts the progress towards learning the spell to resurrect
other players. It is a critical quest line and should not be skipped.
Each race quest line starts with the following:
“Summons from Knight-Lord Bloodvalor” starts in
Ruins of Silvermoon
“Jol” quest starts in Azure Landing
“Tome of Divinity” starts in Dun Morough
“Tome of Divinity” starts in Goldshire
Having a “Rez button” is a class defining ability,
so every Paladin is expected to have it.
Another expectation is that Paladins will ride noble
steeds. Now granted at level 30 by the Paladin trainers, Summon Charger
is another don’t miss spell. Riding is better than running
any day, and getting the first level of riding skill for almost free is
very nice too.
Special points of interest
Leveling a Paladin is fairly straight
forward in all of the zones that are level appropriate. There are a few
areas where Paladins will have an easier time than other classes due to
the extra damage Paladins can cause against Undead and Demons. For
Alliance Paladins Darkshire is an area full of Skeletons and Zombies
and they are ripe for the pickings. When battling the undead, make sure
to cast Exorcism
every time it is
available and also use this time to test out Sense Undead
and Turn Evil
On the flip side, the Horde Paladins get Exorcism just as they are
ready to leave the undead area of Ghostlands. No problem though, Blood
Elf Paladins will have plenty of opportunities to smack around the
ghouls, skeletons, and zombies of Strangethorn Vale.
If demons are more to the liking, they can be found in Desolace and
Ashenvale. Again, great locations to use the added holy damage of
Exorcism and Turn Evil. Leveling up is a great time to experiment with
pulling techniques and learning how many enemies can be fought at
once. Use Turn Evil to see how the mechanics work and
don’t forget that it’s never cowardly to bubble and
run, it’s actually quite noble. At least that’s
what I tell myself.