- This article is about the general class description. For related articles, see Category:Paladins. For the Warcraft III hero unit, see Paladin (Warcraft III).
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, blessings and seals 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, unfaltering 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 revile all that is evil and sinister — especially undead and the Burning Legion. They offer succor to the beleaguered and smite their 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 rumor has it they have recently begun 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 good 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.
Paladins are a holy order of warriors whose purpose is to defend and shepherd the war-torn populace of Lordaeron. 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 , 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.
15 Years After the Second War
The Archbishop, Alonsus Faol, prior to the Second War, founded the Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand. The holy knights, or paladins, as they are commonly called, led the battle against the evil orcs and helped to save the lands of Lordaeron from ruin. Though it has been nearly 15 years since the end of the Second War, the paladins still work selflessly to protect humanity from the gnawing jaws of evil. Empowered by the Light, these mighty warriors brandish both their warhammers and holy fire in the battle against all those who would trample the meek and innocent.
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. Formed during the Second War, it 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 ), leaving only a scattered few. The Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded by prince Arthas Menethil when 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 corrupted. 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 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, vows to restore the original order, which later merges with the Argent Dawn to form the Argent Crusade.
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.
- (formerly, later a death knight then The Lich King)
- (formerly, later a death knight, redeemed by his son)
A paladin that has chosen to spec retribution is able to increase his DPS by a considerable margin and fight several targets at a time with a good efficiency. Retribution damage favors slow two handed weapons and cause sudden damage spikes through both melee and spell crits. 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.
- Main article: Paladin races
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.
In CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
As of the Cataclysm expansion, Tauren will be the second race of the Horde to be able to take on the role of paladin. Tauren paladins will be called Sunwalkers It is also confirmed that Tauren will not receive a Charger mount, but a new type of Kodo mount. This is because Tauren paladins will be a part of separate order, the Sunwalkers, and not the Bloodknights; So it would not make sense lore-wise to have Chargers.
You can find the one who is believed to be the first Tauren paladin ingame on The Elder Rise in Thunderbluff named Aponi Brightmane. She has a conversation with Tahu Sagewind about drawing powers from the sun as the Druid can draw power from the moon.
It also appears that Draenei paladins will no longer receive charger mounts, but a separate type of Elekk similar to how Tauren will receive a modified Kodo.
Images of The new Draenei and Tauren Paladins mounts from the Beta can be found here. As with all Beta content, These are subject to change.
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 20 (40 before patch 2.4.3 and 30 before patch 3.2.0). They can quest, or learn from the trainer, for an epic Charger at level 40 (as of patch 3.2). 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, or wield daggers, fist weapons or staves. They also cannot use ranged weapons. In lieu of a ranged weapon slot, paladins receive a Libram (relic) slot. They have no spammable ranged attacks, but can use Hand of Reckoning, Exorcism, and Avenger's Shield (if Protection) or Holy Shock (if holy) to pull, as needed. Righteous Defense can also be used as a ranged pull, albeit its mechanics are a tad different.
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.
Stats to avoid
Paladin stats that have no value or stats that are strictly for another class.
Stats being removed in Cataclysm (WoW 4.0)
Paladin stats that are being removed from itemization in WoW 4.0.
- Main article: Paladin abilities
Paladins play a key role by buffing their allies. However, they also have a few other handy spells and abilities in their 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 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). Strong stamina scaling, simple and very high threat generation and the superb Ardent Defender talent make paladins perhaps the best tanks in the game.
- Main article: Paladins as DPS
Through the retribution tree, paladins are able to significantly increase their own personal damage output while also bringing a large amount of unique raid utility. Through abilities such as Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, and Seal of Vengeance/Seal of Corruption 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, 3% increased haste from Swift Retribution, and 3% increased damage from Sanctified Retribution.
- 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, Beacon of Light, allows a Paladin's direct heals to be mirrored to the affected friendly target. Holy Paladins are widely regarded as the strongest tank healers in the game due to the high output of Holy Light in combination with Beacon of Light.
- Paladin attributes
- See Paladin races for paladins by race.
- See List of paladins 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)