WoW Guide: Ready to Raid as a Paladin

You've leveled your Paladin to 80, you've figured out how to use all of your spells and talents and which stats you want on gear. Now you want to move up into the big leagues...

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leveled your href="">Paladin
to 80, you've figured out how to
use all of your href="">spells
and href="">talents
and which stats you href="">want
on gear. Now you want to move up
into the big leagues and see the
raiding content that everyone talks about. The flying gothic
pyramid/cathedral of Naxxramas awaits you.

As a Paladin, you will be invited to raids regardless of the spec you
choose (as long as the raid has room). Gone are the days of being
discriminated against as a Retribution spec. After making the decision
that you want to see more than the five-man content, do you have what
it takes to be a raider? I can answer that for you, yes, you do.
Blizzard has scaled back the strict raiding requirements of old, but
you still want
to be the best you can be. That's where this handy guide
comes in. Following is a series of discussions to provide you with some
baseline equipment and character statistics for
understanding what it takes to be "Raid Ready."

style="font-weight: bold;">The Holy Healer

As a holy Paladin, there is a threshold that must be met so that you
have enough mana to cast spells, enough spell power to cast big heals,
and spell crit (you will make mana back as you crit with
You'll also want some mana/five second, but it is lower on the scale.
For a Raid Ready Holy Paladin, the stats should include the following:

  • 16,000 Mana
  • 1,500 Spell Power
  • 25% Spell Crit
  • 350 Mana/5 seconds

These are just the basics, but with those levels, you should be ready
to go. The real question is, how do we get geared up to those numbers,
and how can we augment ourselves through food, flasks, gems, and
enchants to help us on our way.

Flasks, Elixirs and Other Yummy

For temporary food buffs, hopefully someone can make a Fish Feast that
grants 46 Spell Power and 40 Stamina (among other buffs). Barring that
group-wide food, you can't go wrong with Firecracker Salmon for spell
power, or Spiced Wyrm Burger for spell critical.

Flasks and Elixirs are an excellent way to boost stats you may be
lacking. You can only have one of each of the types so you'll
yourself choosing between battle and guardian elixirs (and some Flasks
count as both types). The flask of choice is the Flask of the Frost
Wyrm because it provides +125 spell power, but it may be hard to find
in your neck of the woods. Other solid choices include Spellpower
Elixir which give 58 spell power or even Elixir of Mighty Thoughts to
increase your mana pool by almost 500.

Potions should be kept on hand for those emergency situations. For the
holy Paladin, the potion of choice is the Runic Mana Potion. Get used
to carrying multiple stacks of these (or use a Mana Injector that will
store 20 potions and save bag slots).

and Enchants

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can't completely overhaul a set of gear but it can
push you over the threshold if you have enough sockets. The key for
gems is to stick with stats you need. Recalling that we want a big mana
pool and then spell power, we're going to gem our gear for Intellect
until we have enough mana, then we will start putting in more spell
crit. Gems can be changed, and they should change with your needs. That
being said, there are some key meta gems that will require specific gem
combinations in your gear. Case in point is the Insightful Earthsiege
Diamond that provides +21 Intellect and a chance to restore mana on
each spell cast. That is an excellent gem to socket, but it requires
one of each color gem in your gear to activate. If you don't have the
other gems, then you may be better off starting with the Ember Skyflare
which requires 3 red gems in your gear.

Enchanting is similar to gems in that you will want to boost the
stats most in need. If gems brought your mana pool to 16,000,
start adding some spell crit, or at least enchants that raise all stats
(they are a good "catch all" type enchant if you can't afford or get
the more specific enchants). Almost every slot can receive intellect or
stat boost enchants. And don't forget to enchant your weapon and shield!


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of the main reasons we all want to raid is for
gear. Unfortunately, we have to start with some too! The holy Paladin
has it a bit easier than most because we can wear all armor sets. And
while the practice of wearing cloth may play out in the lower level
dungeons, you really need to be able to take a punch in raids. Try to
stick with plate if at all possible. There are some good choices
through href="">reputation
rewards that can get you on your
way. In addition to some of those
pieces, you will want to focus on gathering gear from heroic dungeons
or crafted gear.

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Source Slot Crafted Instance
Drop Head Brilliant Titansteel
Helm - Blacksmithing Helmet of the
Constructor - Skarvald in Heroic Utgarde Keep Chest Brilliant Saronite
Breastplate - Blacksmithing Patina-Coated
Breastplate - Halls of Stone (BoE so check the
auction house) Neck Titaniaum Spellshock
Necklace - Jewelcrafters Amulet of the
Spell-Flinger - Heroic Ahn'Kahet Cloak Wispcloak - Tailoring Reanimators Cloak -
Heroic Drak'Tharon Shoulders Brilliant Saronite
Pauldrons - Blacksmithing Ferocious Pauldrons of
the Rhino - Gortok Palehoof in Heroic
Utgarde Pinnacle Legs Ornate Saronite
Legplates - Blacksmithing Leggings of Protective
Auras - Ley Guardian Eregos  in
Heroic Oculus Bracers Ornate Saronite Bracers
- Blacksmithing Bands of Fading Light -
BoE from Utgarde Pinnacle (again,
check the AH) Waist Ornate Saronite
Waistguard - Blacksmithing Girdle of Ice - Ormorok
in Heroic Nexus Boots Briliant Titansteel
Treads - Blacksmithing Sabatons of Erekem -
Erekem in Heroic Violet Hold Shield Saronite Protector -
Blacksmithing Tor's Crest - King
Ymiron in non-Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle

Protection Paladin

As a tanking Paladin, you
will need to be able to soak up a lot
of damage. Think of yourself as the href="">ShamWoW!
of the
group. As such you will want to center your choices on health,
strength, defense and armor. A starting Raid Ready Paladin will want to
have approximately the following statistics:

  • 540 Defense (key component,
    get this first!)
  • 21,000 Health
  • 23,000 Armor

If you can achieve the numbers above, then you will be well on your way
to having the other ingredients for a main tank. These numbers are
general, and you may have more health and slightly less armor, or vice
versa, but don't step foot into a raid unless you have your defense at
540. That is the magic number for bosses (considered level 83) not to
be able to crit you. If you only fight level 80 mobs, you only need 525
defense, but we're ready for raiding so we need more defense!

version of 
style="font-weight: bold;">Food, Flasks, and Elixirs

Once again, the Fish Feast
discussed above is about the best
option if you or someone around you can make it. For tanking, it
provides 80 attach power, 46 spell power and 40 stamina. All stats that
a tanking Paladin can use. If nobody can make the feast, pick up some
Dalaran Clam Chowder for attack power, spell power and stamina, or
Mammoth Meals for attack power and stamina. Any of those will do, the
stamina is the same for all of them.

Flasks and Elixirs are very helpful in staying alive. You can use a
Flask of Stoneblood for adding 650 health for two hours, but it counts
at both a battle and guardian elixir. I would probably use a battle
elixir such as Mighty Strength to add 50 strength in combination with
Elixir of Protection that adds 800 armor. Using two different elixirs
gives you more options as well.

Potions for the tanking Paladin will be almost exclusively health
potions. You may find occasions when you will want to use a
potion (a Paladin with out mana is not going to be a very good tank -
almost all of our threat comes from using spells/mana). Keep those
health potions handy though, you never know when a healer will get
stunned or silenced and not be able to heal you. Since patch 3.0 you
only get one potion per fight, so choose wisely!

and Enchants

gems and enchants for tanks will be very different
from the other two specs (and as different as they are from each other
- the Paladin is versatile but requires a lot of different gear!). The
first priority is to get defense to 540, so use gems and enchants to
get there if you have to. Once you reach that magical plateau, start
changing over to strength as your primary stat. Strength will provide
you with more attack power, higher block value and in an odd twist,
each new point of strength actually gives you more strength (through
the talent Divine Strength).  Pick your gem colors based on
colors and which of your stats are most in need (of course you can
ignore socket colors if the socket bonus won't help, or you need the
gem stats more). Also remember to look out for head-slot meta gems such
as the Austere Earthsiege Diamond and the Eternal Earthsiege Diamond.
You can't really go wrong with either of those.

to get you started.

Beyond the href="">reputation
rewards, here are a few items
that will get you on your way to
raiding bliss as a tanking Paladin:

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Source style="font-weight: bold;">Slot Crafted Instance
Drop Head Tempered Titansteel Helm
- Blacksmithing (A must have) Arcane Shielded Helm -
Grand Magus Telestra in Heroic Nexus Chest Tempered Saronity
Breastplate - Blacksmithing Sun-Emblazoned
Chestpiece 33 Neck Titanium Earthguard
Chain - Jewelcrafting Burning Skull Pendant -
BoE drop in Gundrak Cloak Durable Nerubhide Cape -
Leatherworking Tattered Castle Drape -
BoE drop in Heroic Utgarde Keep Shoulders Tempered Saronite
Shoulders - Blacksmithing Pauldrons of the
Colossus - Heroic Gundrak Legs Daunting Legplates -
Blacksmithing Bolstered Legplates -
Cyanigosa in Heroic Violet Hold Bracers Tempered Saronite
Bracers - Blacksmithing Bracers of he Herald -
Herald Volazj in Heroic Ahn'kahet The
Old Kingdom Waist Tempered Saronite Belt -
Blacksmithing Skadi's Iron Belt -
Skadi the Ruthless in Heroic Utgarde
Pinnacle Boots Tempered Titansteel
Boots - Blacksmithing (A must have) Greaves of the Ancient
Evil - Herald Volazj in Heroic
Ahn'kahet The Old Kingdom Shield Titansteel Shield Wall
(A must have) - Blacksmithing Royal Crest of Lordaeron
- Mal'Ganis in Heroic CaCulling of

Retribution Paladin

I never thought I'd write
about Raid Ready Paladin because we
used to get laughed out of the place with our measly DPS. But times
have changed and thankfully Blizzard has bestowed upon us the power to
smack enemies around. But we can't just show up with our good looks and
charming demeanor, we need to bring the right set up. A good starting
point for Retribution Paladins incorporates the following key stats:

  • 2,500 Attack Power
  • 200 Hit Rating, (obviously
    higher is better), you can't damage
    what you don't hit
  • 25% Crit Rating (many of
    your bonuses will proc* off of crits)
  • 15,000 Health

* Proc is an abbreviation of "PRobability of OCcurance" meaning that
certain abilities will occur (over a period time, usually found in
forums as PPM or Procs per minute). For instance; a trinket that says
it "has a chance to increase attack power by 100 for 10 seconds" will
"Proc" providing a buff to you with an additional 100 attack power for
10 seconds.
The catch is that it's random and some items Proc more often than

The stats for Retribution are fairly straight forward with the
exception of Hit Rating. Most people do not look at Hit Rating while
leveling or even working through normal level dungeons. Get that Hit
Rating up there so your swings will count for something. Also, you'll
notice that I put a health requirement in there yet the Holy Paladin
requirements had none. While a Retribution Paladin won't be tanking,
melee DPS takes significant damage being in the heat of battle.
Sometimes called "splash damage" the bosses, trash mobs and adds will
require that you be able to take something of a punch.

Food,Flasks and Elixirs

Almost everything you put in your mouth should have the Attack Power
stat. Remember, you are what you eat! Once again I will tout the
almighty Fish Feast as it is the best overall raid food buff out there.
The 80 attack power always feels good going down with some tartar
sauce. If a feast is not available, there are plenty of other options.
A couple of which are the Dalaran Clam Chowder which will give you 60
attack power, or you can chef up/purchase some Dragonfin Fillet for 40
attack power.

The recommended flasks and elixirs won't be a surprise either,
they are all about attack power and strength (well there is one curve
ball in there that you'll see in a moment). The Flask of Endless Rage
is a nice 180 attack power buff, or if you want to use two elixirs, you
might want to combine Mighty Strength (+50  Strength) with
Thoughts (+45 Intellect). Interesting that one of those is also useful
for tanking and one for healing. Keep them all handy, you never know
which spec you'll want to be when dual specs become available.

Which potions you keep in your bag will depend on how well the rest of
your raid heals you. Keep plenty of mana and health potions available.
If you don't need to augment the raid healing with your own healing or
health potions, then slug some mana potions during the fight if you
need to. A Paladin with no mana is a warrior, and we know we don't want
to be one of those.

and Enchants

all of your gems should be
strength gems. Period. Strength provides almost two and half points of
attack power per point of strength. Load it up. There are plenty of
gems with both strength and other stats like stamina, and +hit that you
should be able to gather strength and the other key stats. For a meta
gem, try and place a Relentless Earthseige Diamond in your helm (yes it
is agility heavy but increases your crit by 3% which is excellent).

Enchanting is also going to be strength based, but many of the slots
don't have a strength enchant available. In that case you are going to
want to look for attack power. Always always always (did I stress this
enough?) put the best attack power leg armor you can get. The Icescale
is awesome with 75 attack power and +22 crit rating, but it may be very
expensive or not available. In that case, grab the Nerubian Leg Armor
with 55 attack power and +15 crit rating. You'll notice that all of the
enchants and gems have gradations, each successive grade better than
the previous. Keep working your way up there.

Gear Starter Kit

rehashing the href="">reputation
rewards, following are some
pieces of gear that will get started as
a Retribution damage dealing monster:

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Source style="font-weight: bold;">Slot Crafted Instance
Drop Head Spiked Titansteel Helm -

Charged Titanium Specs - Engineering Chitin Shell Greathelm -
Anub'arak in Heroic Azjol-Nerub Chest Chestplate of Conquest -
Blacksmithing Breatplate of Undeath -
Novos the Summoner in Heroic
Drak'Tharon Neck Titanium Impact Choker -
Jewelcrafting Gold Amulet of Kings -
King Ymiron in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle Cloak Ice Striker's Cloak -
Cloak of Bloodied Waters
- Heroic Gundrak Shoulders Savage Saronite
Shoulders - Blacksmithing Snake Den Spaulders -
Slad'ran in Heroic Gundrak Legs Savage Saronity
Legplates - Blacksmithing
Staggering Legplates -
Ingvar the Plunderer - Heroic Utgarde
Keep Bracers Tempered Saronity
Bracers - Blacksmithing Bracers of he Herald -
Herald Volazj in Heroic Ahn'kahet The
Old Kingdom Waist Vengeance Bindings -
Blacksmithing Bands of the
Stoneforge - Sjonnir the Ironshaper in
Heroic Halls of Stone Boots Spiked Titansteel Boots
- Blacksmithing The Obliterator Greaves
- Zuramat the Obliterator in Heroic
Violet Hold Weapon Titansteel Destroyer -
Blacksmithing (A Must Have) Colossal Skull-Clad
Cleaver - Loken in Heroic Halls of

the places you'll go...

The above information provides you with some insight into the types of
gear you should be looking for while preparing to be Raid Ready. The
lists are by no means complete or an exact recipe for success. That
recipe comes from your playstyle mixed with your gear. You may find
different combinations that better suit you, so by all means, give it a
try. These lists are to help you better measure up your gear to
determine if you should take that invite to be a part of a raid going
into Naxxramas. style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">

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