The paladin is a hybrid class with the ability to play a variety of different roles — including healing (Holy), tanking (Protection), and DPS (Retribution). They have auras and blessings that provide useful buffs for other players while withstanding heavy physical damage with plate armor and strong defensive abilities. Paladins are also considered to be holy knights or blood knights.
Paladins are the virtuous defenders of the weak and tireless enemies of the undead. Mixing elements of the warrior and the clerics of the Holy Light, the paladin is a tough melee fighter. The tradition of the Holy Light is unique to a few of the Alliance races and the blood elves of the Horde.
The paladin is a "Warrior of the Holy Light". They uphold all that is good and true in the world and reviles all that is evil and sinister — especially undead and the Burning Legion. They offer succor to the beleaguered and smites his enemies with holy fervor. They are particularly potent against undead, as these creatures threaten the goodly races and the Holy Light burns them terribly. The presence of any evil is reprehensible to the paladin, but he focuses his efforts on destroying undead and demons. These warriors uphold the tenets of the Holy Light and defend the Alliance from the predations of any threat to their peoples. Found in almost every corner of Azeroth fighting the forces of evil and barbarism, these stalwart warriors of faith ceaselessly uphold their vigil against demonic forces from beyond the Dark Portal. Humans, draenei, and Ironforge dwarves are the most likely to become paladins, as these races revere the Holy Light. Blood elves known as Blood Knights bend the powers of the Light to their will, though rumour has it they have recently began to use the Light legitimately. The paladin order, also called the Knights of the Silver Hand, grew out of humanity’s culture, and its greatest heroes and fiercest proponents are humans. Ironforge dwarves possess the toughness needed to withstand the onslaught of the paladins’ many enemies. High elves rarely become paladins, though this has changed somewhat, as their blood elf brothers and sisters expand the Blood Knight order. The Blood Knights are commonly mistaken as the enemy of the Knights of the Silver Hand by outsiders unfamiliar with the ways of the Light, but this is false presumption. Paladins are the embodiment of goodliness and selfless dedication to the protection of their peoples. They help the innocent and punish the wicked. As such, all paladins are of good alignment. ( )
During the Second War, some paladins' eyes glowed with inner power of the Light, such as the paladin Turalyon. This is not the case for all paladins, though it occurs in game with certain paladin armor sets. Some are Retribution paladins, auradins, or sun paladins. Some are known as paladin warriors (who sometimes become epic paladin warriors). Some paladins choose to become exemplars or templars.
Paladins are a holy order of warriors whose purpose is to defend and shepherd the war-torn populace of Lordaeron. Archbishop Alonsus Faol perceived that the pious Clerics of Northshire, who suffered such terrible attrition in the First War, were ill-suited for the dangers of combat. Along with many of the surviving Clerics of Northshire, he sought those of only the greatest virtue among the knighthood of Lordaeron and tutored them in the ways of magic. Led by the crusading Uther the Lightbringer, it now rests upon these paladins — christened the Knights of the Silver Hand — to heal the wounds sustained in combat and to restore faith in the promise of freedom from Orcish tyranny.
Although the paladins were once loved and revered throughout the lands of Lordaeron, they have since fallen on into hard times. The entire Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded for refusing to kill innocent townsfolk who were believed to be contaminated by the dreaded Undead plague of the scourge. Disenfranchised and driven from their former homes, the paladins still work selflessly to protect humanity from the gnawing jaws of evil. Empowered by the Light, these mighty warriors now brandish both warhammer and holy fire in offensive battle against all who would trample the meek and innocent.
The Knights of the Silver Hand was the original paladin order, the Silver Hand was formed in the Second War and was at its height until the time of the Plague. As paladins were immune to the Plague (and indeed all diseases), many members of the order survived the initial push of the Scourge. Unfortunately, the corrupted Arthas Menethil killed many paladins upon his return (including Uther the Lightbringer), leaving only a scattered few. The Order of the Silver Hand was decimated by prince Arthas Menethil when Uther the Lightbringer refused to aid Arthas in his purging of the city of Stratholme.
Following the invasion of the Scourge, many of the order's paladins joined a zealous group of followers of the Light known as the Scarlet Crusade. However, many of these paladins have become fanatical towards their ambition of destroying the Scourge, to the point that those not wearing their colors are deemed as corrupt. After leaving the Crusade, some paladins decided to join the Argent Dawn. Some paladins have also turned from the light and joined Arthas Menethil as death knights.
Others fled south, to the Kingdom of Stormwind. The paladin order, still referring to themselves as the Order of the Silver Hand, now thrives under their new leadership at the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind City. Over time, the followers of the Holy Light spread their philosophy to the dwarves of Ironforge who soon adopted the tenets of the order as well. Though decimated, the Knights of the Silver Hand eventually bounced back. ( )
In a World of Warcraft questline, Tirion Fordring vows to restore the original order.
Code of conduct
A paladin must be of good alignment and loses all light abilities if he ever willingly commits an evil act. Additionally, the paladin’s code requires that he respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use their help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents. While he may adventure with characters of any good or neutral alignment, a paladin will never knowingly associate with evil persons, nor will he continue an association with someone who consistently offends his moral code. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers or cohorts who are of good alignment. A paladin who violates this code, becomes an ex-paladin, and loses all Light-given abilities and can not train further as a paladin until he atones for his violations. ( ) ( )
Paladins don't always have to work within good or neutral organizations as seen by the Scarlet Crusade and others — however, they do have to believe they are working for good organizations or have faith that their cause is good and just. A paladin can be evil (as illustrated by Renault Mograine), but as long as they believe their cause to be just, the Light will continue to serve them.
Notable paladins in lore
- Arthas Menethil -
- Alexandros Mograine -
- Tirion Fordring -
- Uther the Lightbringer -
- Turalyon -
- Lady Liadrin -
- Farseer Nobundo (Formerly, now a Shaman) -
A paladin that has chosen to spec Retribution is able to increase his DPS by a considerable margin. Retribution damage favors slow two handed weapons and cause sudden damage spikes through both melee and spell crits and Seal of Command procs. Through the 41-point Retribution talent Crusader Strike and 51-point Divine Storm they can deal considerable weapon based burst damage. Additionally, Retribution paladins bring a large amount of raid utility, making them valuable in endgame instances. Retribution paladins are popular for their increased damage abilities for groups, such as Heart of the Crusader, which grants all attacks against the target a 3% increased chance to crit, and Sanctified Retribution, increasing the damage of the paladin's group by 3%.
Paladins are also excellent tanks. Spiritual Attunement provides the paladin with a percentage of mana, based on ability level, each time they receive healing. They also excel at tanking multiple mobs at the same time through use of their reactive threat abilities like Holy Shield and Consecration, an AOE effect that deals significant threat to all mobs within range. Paladin tanks have gained widespread acceptance in the community.
The paladin class has some of the most mana-efficient and low-threat healing spells in the game, allowing them to easily fill the position of a main tank healer in a party or raid situation. Their healing efficiency makes them great endurance and battle healers, though paladins lack area of effect healing abilities (healing multiple targets at once) and healing over time effects. Paladins do have a form of indirect healing from the spell Judgement of Light.
Paladins have several anti-Undead and Demon abilities such as Exorcism, Holy Wrath, and Turn Evil which make them very effective when fighting Demon and Undead targets (not including Forsaken players, who are considered Humanoids for balance reasons).
In PvP, the paladin's most well-known strength is his/her ability to outlast his opponent(s). With plate armor, their ability to heal themselves and allies, and a near-complete invulnerability every few minutes, they are a hard target to take down. Paladins can also do a surprising amount of burst-damage and have good access to stun abilities. Paladins also make great supporting characters, buffing and healing team-mates while being able to survive the enemy's attention. Paladins are particularly vulnerable to Silence and Interrupt effects, as all of a paladin's abilities are part of a single magic school (Holy). In addition, dispel effects are powerful against paladins.
The paladin class can be played by the following races:
Blood elf paladins belong to the Order of Blood Knights, while human and dwarven paladins are usually from the Knights of the Silver Hand. Currently, draenei paladins are members of an organization called the Hand of Argus, but this may change with time as the draenei are now part of the Alliance and some may consider joining the Silver Hand.
Weapons and armor
- See also: Paladin sets
From the start, paladins can wear cloth, leather, or mail armor, and can train to wear plate armor at level 40. They may use a shield. They can summon their own Warhorse at level 30 (40 before patch 2.4.3). They can quest for an epic Charger at level 60. They can use the following melee weapons (some innately based on race, while others are trained via a Weapon Master for a fee):
Paladins cannot dual wield. They also cannot use ranged weapons. In lieu of a ranged weapon slot, paladins receive a Libram (relic) slot. For ranged damage, a paladin has several limited options. Due to cooldowns, these are more useful for pulling than actual damage.
- With Patch 3.0.8, paladins received 30 yard taunt that does minor holy damage, named Hand of Reckoning. Retribution paladins used to have no way to pull targets from 30 yards before this spell was introduced, with the exception of Exorcism on undead or demon targets.
- With Patch 3.1.0, Exorcism is no longer limited to undead or demon targets.
- Spending Talent Points in the Holy tree to acquire the spell Holy Shock.
- Spending talent points in the Protection tree to acquire Avenger's Shield .
- Using Hammer of Wrath on an enemy with less than 20% of their health left.
- Using Exorcism on undead or demons.
- Using Judgement in combination with a seal (see below) allows for a limited range attack. Spending Talent Points in the Holy Tree will greatly improve the range of Judgement.
- Taking the Engineering profession in order to obtain limited ranged capabilities such as dynamite, bombs, and trinkets.
- A ranged trinket such as , which has a 3 minute cooldown, , which has a 15 minute cooldown, or , which has a 3 minute cooldown.
- Non-Engineering explosives such as or .
- dropped by Kobold Geomancers in Elwynn Forest can also be used. They have a one minute cooldown and stack up to 20.
- dropped by Prince Malchezaar in Karazhan can also be used. Has a 3 minute cooldown, 513 to 567 damage, and a 40 yd range.
Paladin primary stats by paladin type
- Main article: Tips and advice for paladins
This is a list of the paladin's primary stats for each paladin type in alphabetical order, and not necessarily in order of importance; that is left up to the player based upon their goal and playstyle.
Paladin secondary stats that can be optionally obtained after your primary stats have been met, if you choose to do so.
- Main article: Paladin abilities
Paladins play a key role by buffing their allies. They also have a few other spells that complete the class' arsenal.
- Main article: Paladin auras
In addition to spell buffs (see Blessings below) paladins have the ability to use auras, area-of-effect buffs that boost the abilities of all party members within a certain radius. Only one aura may be active per paladin, but multiple paladins can use different auras within a group (although two paladins using the same aura gain no additional effect instead defaulting to the aura cast by the higher level paladin). The auras themselves cost no mana to operate, have no innate cooldown (other than the Global Cooldown), and may be switched between at will.
- Main article: Blessing
Blessings are spell buffs that can be cast on most friendly targets. Normal blessings last 10 minutes. Greater Blessings, learned at the higher levels, give the effect of a normal blessing to every person of the same class in a raid, and last for 30 minutes (for example, casting Greater Blessing of Might on one Warrior will give all Warriors in the raid the same effect).
- Main article: Seal (ability)
Seals are long term self-buffs which boost the paladin's power temporarily. Effectively, they add a weapon proc to their melee strikes. Additionally, paladins can unleash these seals upon an enemy with any of three Judgment abilities, causing holy damage and causing an effect depending on which judgment was used.
- Main article: Hand (spell)
Hands are spell buffs introduced in patch 3.0.2 that can be cast on party and raid members. Hands are derived from previous blessings, and includes Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice, and Hand of Salvation.
Paladin talents are split into 3 categories:
Talent builders can be found at:
- Official Blizzard site
- WoW Vault
- WoW Den's Talent Calculator
- MMO-Champion's Talent Calculator
- Main article: Paladin quests
Paladins have several class-specific quests which allow the character to learn valuable spells.
Paladins are a very unique class that have the ability to perform all three major functions required in group or raid play depending on their spec.
- Main article: Paladins as tanks
Through the Protection tree, paladins gain an increased ability to tank enemies. Paladins are especially well known for their ability to tank many enemies at once with rapid threat production. Paladin tanking was once largely reliant on reflective damage, but can now effectively generate multi-target threat through the AoE spell Consecration and the multi-target attack Hammer of the Righteous to hold aggro on multiple targets (although reflective damage such as Holy Shield is still helpful as well). Paladin tanks are generally accepted by the community as being on par or better than the other tanking classes in some situations, particularly where multi-target tanking is necessary.
- Main article: Paladins as DPS
Through the Retribution tree, paladins are able to increase their own personal damage output while bringing a large amount of unique raid utility. Through abilities such as Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, and Seal of the Martyr/Seal of Blood Retribution paladins are able to increase their own personal DPS greatly above the normal level. In addition, Retribution paladins bring large amounts of raid utility, such as a 3% increased critical strike chance from Heart of the Crusader.
- Main article: Paladins as healers
Through the Holy tree, paladins are able to empower their healing even further. The Holy tree's most important talent, Illumination, allows paladins to regain mana on healing critical strikes, leading the Holy paladin to be a unique "crit centric" healing build. Holy paladins are widely regarded as the most efficient single target healer in the game, due to the incredible healing per mana ratio of Flash of Light. Many paladins choose to spec as Holy for both endgame raiding and PvP, as it is a very popular support spec in both areas.
- Paladin attributes
- See Paladin races for paladins by race.
- See Paladin list for notable paladins of various races from lore.
- See Paladins: Tips and Advice for further advice and tips on the paladin's varying roles.
- See the paladin category for further information on the paladin class.
- Statistics of paladins from Warcraft II.
- Divine Magic
- Spell Damage Coefficients
- Paladin twinking guide
- BC tanking equipment (paladin)